The Other Guys

Release Date: August 6, 2010

They tried out for The Informant!, but it didn't work out.

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4/190 Max Braden I laughed a lot during this movie, and every time I remember key scenes, I laugh more. (the bribery sequence, for example)

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Following Will Ferrell's successful stint on Saturday Night Live in the late '90s, Ferrell turned his attention to movies. Ferrell's first attempt to headline a comedy, Old School, became one of the most popular comedies of the decade. One of the best films to showcase middle-age men refusing to accept they no longer live in a dorm, Ferrell used this film's success to make him one of comedy's greatest stars of the 2000s. However, the man behind all of this success was writer and director Adam McKay. The two have teamed up for some of the decade's most popular hits (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and the website Funny or Die). Now the two are teaming up again to tackle the buddy cop comedy, The Other Guys, a.k.a, Hot Fuzz: New York.

While Ferrell has had a string of hits this past decade, Adam McKay has been there with him for most of his success. Since Ferrell proved that Old School wasn't a fluke with McKay's Anchorman, most of Ferrell's successes have come in films helmed by McKay. Ferrell's most successful film, Elf, used the actor's star power and the holiday season to maximize its profit potential. The film also allowed him to use his manboy persona within the context of an amusing family story to create a memorable holiday film. Aside from Elf, Ferrell's success has been spotty. While films like Starsky and Hutch were far from box office disappointments, they have been forgotten rather quickly. Ferrell tried a more dramatic role in 2006's criminally underseen Stranger Than Fiction, a film too smart for most audiences. More recently, Ferrell has experienced the bitter pangs of box office disappointment. Semi-Pro, a film trying to jump off the success of Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory, was one of 2008's biggest disappointments. When 2009's Land of the Lost couldn't decide if it wanted to be a family film or a sophomoric romp of a '70s cult classic, the result was one of 2009's biggest boxoffice flops. Ferrell's only success in the last two years? His work with Adam McKay on Step Brothers.

Given their past collaborations, The Other Guys should be highly anticipated. Anchorman was one of 2004's sleeper hits and has only gained a following since its DVD release. Talladega Nights was the highest grossing comedy of 2006 and has also earned a respectable following. 2008's Step Brothers opened to more mixed reviews than their previous two outings, but still managed to gross $100+ million at the box office, a respectable number given its R rating. Regardless of box office performance, these films have relied on college boys and men in their 20s to drive their success with repeated home viewings. It wasn't too long after Facebook's creation that every school had a group called Stay Classy, and even Talladega Nights caught on with the NASCAR community. McKay has stated that The Other Guys will have a less surreal feeling than his previous movies. The film lacks a trailer at the moment, so it's difficult to gauge how much McKay has deviated from his usual style.

Noticeably absent from the proceedings will be Judd Apatow, who had a hand in producing McKay's three previous films. Also absent is John C. Reilly, who played a pivotal role in both Talledga Nights and Step Brothers. Even though Reilly isn't nearly the household name of Ferrell, the two share a great chemistry that The Other Guys may sorely miss. Instead, Ferrell will be teamed with Mark Wahlberg as partnered detectives assigned to the forensic accounting department. Given Mark Wahlberg's startling chemistry with plastic trees in 2008's The Happening, one can only hope that he doesn't transfer that chemistry to his scenes with Ferrell. Let's hope that Mark Wahlberg channels more of his energy from The Departed.

The Other Guys also stars Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson as the cops that our leads idolize. Anytime we can get Dwayne Johnson cast in a role that doesn't ask him to wear wings has to be a good thing, and he found reasonable success with 2008's Get Smart. His role here sounds familiar to that one, in which he'll be able to spoof his tough guy image. Samuel L. Jackson, on the other hand, acts in a handful of films every year, both independent and large Hollywood productions. Jackson often acts more as a companion piece to a film rather than carrying the movie by himself. Regardless, Jackson's presence here is rather promising. While he hasn't been afforded a chance before to tackle a more comedic role, his experience playing action oriented characters should allow him to be effective in the film's parody.

The rest of the cast includes Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Anne Heche, Rob Riggle, Marlon Wayans, and in apparent cameos as themselves, Paris Hilton and Derek Jeter. Eva Mendes has been in a number of high profile releases over the last decade with varying success. However, none of these films come close to the style of The Other Guys, so how she works in this will be interesting to watch. After failing to gain traction as a movie star, Anne Heche has been successful on TV, most recently in the first season of HBO's Hung. More suited to the world of comedy is Steve Coogan, who has found success in 2008 with both Tropic Thunder and Hamlet 2. Rob Riggle and Marlon Wayans are set to play other detectives on the force. Riggle's addition is especially promising given his terrific cameo in 2009's sleeper comedy The Hangover. My favorite addition of the cast is Michael Keaton, who has mostly be quiet in the 2000s, with the exception of a few misfires including the silly White Noise. Considering the talent involved, Keaton should hopefully slip into the right role. Coupled with his voicing of Ken in Toy Story 3, 2010 should be a good year for the best American Batman.

Despite Ferrell's reputation of being box office gold, only four of the films in which he was the main attraction grossed over $100 million. Instead his films rely on repeated viewing and rentals to help seal their reputation. Even so, Ferrell is need of another hit due to some of his recent failures. If Sony markets this right, it should be another hit for the Ferrell/McKay duo. This team is one to always be excited for, as they have yet to deliver a true disappointment. Even with the absence of Reilly, the supporting cast is also strong enough to generate broad interest in the film that helped past Ferrell/McKay collaborations. If they put in the same creative energy that they have put into their past hits, audiences should follow again. (Anthony Daquano/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Other Guys
Main Cast Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes
Supporting Cast Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Director Adam McKay
Screenwriter Adam McKay, Chris Henchy
Distributor Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 107 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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