April 14, 2011

Review: The Other Guys

I came into this movie with relatively high expectations. Everyone who had seen the movie and I had asked about it told me positive things about this movie. As such, despite the fact that the movie turned out to be quite good, I feel like my expectations were not met. "The Other Guys" was a good movie, but it was not as good as I was hoping it to be.

The plot of the movie is pretty self explanatory. Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell play two cops, both of which are the "other guys" in a police department. They are not the top police officers, the ones that action movies are made about. In fact, they're two people who basically are stuck in the office all day. All of the actors perform exactly as you'd expect, though special props go to Dwayne Johnson, Ferrell and Rob Riggle. The other characters played their parts well: however, I feel like at times they went over the top in a bad way.

My major problem with the plot and dialogue is not that it's not humorous, but rather that elements of the plot are shoehorned together. Major revelatory motivations for the characters seem like they were thought out by different writer and then mashed together. The motivations for Walhberg's character, especially, seem absolutely ridiculous in that he is too much of a stereotype of an angry cop.

What also made me uneasy was the ending. The credits showing the stats on the 2008 financial crisis felt too preachy. It ruined what was otherwise an enjoyable comedy movie by trying to teach a lesson with the wrong kind of approach. If the producers of this movie wanted to include this kind of preachy message, they should have left it how they did just at the ending. I felt that conveyed the right mix of comedy and seriousness that didn't feel out of place in this movie.

Ultimately, "The Other Guys" is an enjoyable but flawed movie. Don't expect too much of it, and don't think too much about it, and you'll find it adequate. However, if were expecting a comedy that requires some thought or with deeper layers, or if you don't want to be preached to, this movie is not for you.

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