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The Other Guys is fun – right to schmaltsy ending

There is a brilliant exchange between Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Holtz (Mark Wahlberg) the most unlikely pair of cops to ever team up in this remarkable parody of the buddy cop genre The Other Guys.
Stolz is a hot shot trying to get back to active duty after he inadvertently shot Derek Jeter, costing the Yankees the world series. He shares with Gamble that he hates him and would hate him no matter who he was and if he was a lion and Gamble was a tuna, Stolz would swim out and kill him where he swam.
Gamble, a police accountant who drives a Pirus and happily admits he had his aprent audited when he was 11 explains that lions don’t like water and how he would be a 600 pound tuna and would call his tuna friends and they would kill Lion Holtz and now that they’d had a taste of lion they would figure out a way to go and get his pride and they would figure out a way to go on the land and no, not for days, but an hour and a half no problem. Ferrell then looks at Wahlberg and asks “Did that go the way you expected?” and that pretty much sets the tone for this Adam McKay (Talledega Nights) comedy that hits all the right notes for me.
It seems to be the summer of cameos – Willis and Ah-nulled in The Expendables and Samuel Jackson and Dwayne The Rock Johnson in this movie. They play two celebrity cops who think nothing of causing millions of dollars of damage in pursuit of a small time drug dealer and who thank the other cops in the station house for doing all the boring stuff they hate like paperwork, interviews, questioning purps and all that other stuff that gets in the way of their high speed chases and indiscriminate sexual escaped. Their words more or less, not mine.
So when the wrecking ball gang is caught smashing thru a jewellery store the chase is on and our the supercops find themselves 20 stories up and the bad guys at ground level. As they stand at the edge of the rooftop and Jackson says “You thinkin what I’m thinkin partner?”
“Aim for the bushes,” says Johnson as they both jump.
After the funeral there’s a gap in the force and the various budding buddy teams fight for positioning. It’s not easy for Gamble who has been given a wooden gun by his boss, the always funny Michael Keaton. Some of the mean cops in the squad room convince the very gullible to shoot his gun into the ceiling. Everyone has done it they explain, so of course, he does.
Keaton is brilliant as their boss who just wants to continue to work at the police station and as a manager at Bed Bath and Beyond so he can pay for his son exploring his bisexuality at college on his way to becoming a D.J.
There’s some convoluted plot about a giant ponzie scheme and for some reason Ferrell’s character is a chick magnet. He’s married to Eva Mendes who cannot explain to the smitten Holtz “What the hell she’s doing with Gamble. No seriously.”
Every cop/buddy cliche is properly mined for parody and even tho the movie gets a little bogged down in the actual cop story it never disappoints. Of course there’s the inevitable schmaltsy ending but the film never really takes its tongue out of its cheek and I enjoyed it.
I’m not a Will Ferrell fan and it’s to McKay’s credit that this is the second film he’s been able to keep him in check.
The Other Guys isn’t a comedy classic but it’s a fun watch on a summer night and should make a good fall rental. For an extra dose of pretension, Michael Moore did the credits so there’s all kinds of Mooreish nonsense about power to the correct people but I let them play because it’s better than Jackie Chan outtakes.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson


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