Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Other Guys: They were so convincing in their argument

The mildly interesting thing about The Other Guys isn't that it's a pretty boring comedy, it's that it's trying to make some sort of point. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg playing a pair of useless cops are likeable enough, and they'd get away with it if they were in a better film. The problem's that they're not doing anything fun. Investigating a dodgy financial scheme doesn't sound like great comedy, and it isn't. The Other Guys wants to tell us something about the excess of capitalism and the crimes of the rich few, but doesn't present it in a solid enough way. It's dull, cold, verging on complicated. The end credits even start giving a lecture on corporate finance. There's pie charts and everything. And I'm still not getting it, because all I wanted was a comedy about buddy cops. The crime-fighting heroes that are killed off at the start - Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock - are more entertaining than the 'other guys'. It's a shame they jumped off a roof. If it's saying that the people who do the 'daily grind' are more important, try to make them more important. Overall, there's bits of funny in a pile of 'meh'. Ferrell's character doing his first 'desk pop', the tips for school children, and most things Steve Coogan says. A lot of it is like the 'Female Body Inspector' mug Wahlberg throws out the car window, and being asked 'You can see why it's funny right?'.

Don't just take my word for it though, because a lot of other people think differently. Now, I'd think opinion on this film could only reasonably range from 'bad' to 'kind of okay', but there's some people going going a bit mad. One critic calls it an 'insanely funny film', five out of five. There's a quote for the poster. Another takes the risky approach of saying 'send me the bill if you don't laugh'. One decides to be impossible wordy: 'an angrier or more lucid breakdown of the grubby malfeasance of the stripy-shirted masters of the self-designated masters of the universe has yet to be made'. No, I don't know what that means either. If I could, I would raise one eyebrow at the broadsheet critic who used the word 'masterpiece' in his review.  The majority stay sane and say something along the lines of 'yeah, it's okay, but is this the best we can do these days?' If all of these opinions are honest, they're completely valid. Maybe I'm just getting grumpy. If there was a RottenTomatoes for blogs though, it would tell a different story.


  1. Anyone who calls this a masterpeice should have be brought up on charges. I'm not sure what for, but loving The Other Guys has to be illegal somehow.

  2. Sometimes it's hard to be diplomatic with other people's opinions, when they're obviously... wrong.

  3. I didn't like the look of this film, so I avoided it despite the surprisingly positive reviews.
    Glad to know I didn't make a mistake with that decision.
    Great review!

  4. This is a relief. Interestingly, the user's percentage on Tomatoes is much lower than the critic's score. Got to look past the nonsense for the real quality.

  5. It's not the best comedy of the year, but it has some hilarious moments, and Wahlberg really does have a comedic charm about him that just works. Good Review!