Mon August 9, 2010
The Other Guys
An Odd Couple
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time," "Cinema Classics," and "On the Marquee"
"I'm a peacock. You gotta let me fly!" Terry (Mark Wahlberg)
The Other Guys is a buddy-bromance comedy about two hapless desk cops, Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Wahlberg), who wind up on the street solving high tech, collision-prone larceny in some humorous setups.
This mismatched duo, who awkwardly replace super cops Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, at times seems like part of the gang that couldn't shoot straight and at others the only uncorrupt and loving cops in NYC. Will Ferrell manages to revive his career with a variation of his usual nerdy, shy, but lethal boy-man, and Wahlberg shows solid comic timing, mostly reacting to Ferrell.
Not brilliant comedy but chuckle worthy with some domestic scenes for both cops that are genuinely funny?Terry's reacting with disbelief at Allen's babe-wife, played by Eva Mendes, is a lesson in underplaying and comic timing. Secondary player Michael Keaton as the Captain is a delight of comic authority as he constantly throws out lines from TLC while he tries to discipline his two "rogues." The Bernie-Madoff type corruption has currency, starring Brit funny man Steve Coogan as tycoon David Ershon. Just as in the case of Bernie, it's hard not to like this sweet swindler.
Judd Apatow need not worry about the competition; Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have no rivals here for action, yet the underplaying of outrageous setups is enjoyable with witty lines and underplayed guffaws. No, its action can't match that of Lethal Weapon or 48 Hours, but its humor is enough for me to recommend a serviceable summer comedy.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, Cinema Classics, and On the Marquee, which can be heard streaming at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/ppr/index.shtml and on demand at http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/arts.artsmain
Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com