I know a man of middle eastern decent that claimed to be a huge movie buff. Make no mistake this man knows film, and lives for the Oscars. Very seldom would you find a film that this gentleman didn’t have some sort of beef with. He would morph names of popular titles with cuss words and claim that they were the worst movies on the planet. However, even if Kangaroo Jack 4: He’s still got the money was nominated for an Oscar, he would find a way of mentioning a kind word. Most of the time this was attributed to, “Love the performances, hated the movie.” In all my years of knowing him though I have never heard him utter what I am about to…”Loved the movie, hated the credits!”
Redbox, which is one of the greatest little inventions known to man, seems to be on every street corner and outside every store now days. They are like the movie version of crack dealers constantly taunting you to go up and rent something. To top it off, they offer their customers free “hits”, by sending out free one time use codes once per month. What movie buff can resist free flicks? This month’s free “hit” came out this week, and my movie junkie self found myself visiting my local “dealer” and picking up a copy of The Other Guys.
Being surrounded by movies on a day to day basis, I end up hearing a lot of opinions on films from fellow employees I work with, customers leaving the theater seats, and of course the blogs that I read. The Other Guys was a film that more or less received mediocre reviews. Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell playing two goofball cops who want to be the city’s heroes seemed like it could work as a premise, but instead I was hearing likewise. If I had trusted those around me, I wouldn’t have spent 5 minutes on the film. Sometimes though it’s good to listen to your gut.
Will Farrell makes this movie good. I have always been wishy washy with Farrell, usually touting films where he is not the lead. I find Farrell to be a great supporting character but when they turn the reigns over to the funny man, I usually find myself tired of him fast. His films however, do have a way of growing on me, and thanks to TBS running Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby on loop for 3 months, I think I quote that film more than any human being should. The nice thing about The Other Guys is while Farrell is given enough time to be considered the lead, he is given a partner with equal stage time, Mark Wahlberg. Once known as the man with no sense of humor, Walhberg was the guy who got upset with Saturday Night Live for Andy Samberg’s “Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals.” Apparently after realizing that he was being a complete tool he appeared on the show and mocked himself. Shortly after that we see Wahlberg popping up in projects like Date Night and The Other Guys. In this film, Wahlberg really could have been replaced by any actor. While he is a fun addition to the cast, his performance really doesn’t make or break the film.
One of the unsung heroes of the film is Michael Keaton, who plays the police Captain who has to moonlight as a manager at Bed Bath and Beyond to pay the bills. While this premise is only played up a bit, the pep talk to his store employees is a classic moment, and a reminder of the Keaton of old. The DVD has a special feature called “Bed Bath and Way Beyond” where we get to see Keaton hamming it up and building off the snippets of footage that made it into the film. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson make appearances for the first 10 minutes or so of the film as the hero cops everyone loves. I was saddened to see the departure of their characters so quickly, and sadly enough would watch a prequel to The Other Guys just surrounding those two characters. But then again what would you call it, “The Guys?”
This film, ridiculous in nature at points seemed to always have a good sense of timing. Despite knowing that Farrell is ad libbing and improvising most of this, Farrell seems to be on his game, and the supporting cast rouses around him to give us a quirky little comedy. Some of my favorite scenes revolved around Farrell and his self proclaimed “plain, boring, not hot” wife played by Eva Mendez as well as trips to the straight laced Farrell’s past where he moonlighted as a pimp known as “Gator” in his college days.
As you may be able to tell, all in all I had a good time with The Other Guys. However, then the credits rolled around. Now this is the type of film that you expect out takes to roll. You have unfiltered Farrell foaming at the mouth with more footage than one film can contain. Why not show it off? Instead we get a lecture filled with corporate fat cat statistics constructed by a Liberal think tank. Sure, the movie did have someone running a Ponzi scheme, but that wasn’t the central focus. The makers of the film felt the need to take their credits and push some “Big business is evil” factoids upon the viewing audience. If you’re going to The Other Guys you aren’t looking for this message, you most likely are wanting to escape from the world around you. Second of all, no one is going to fact check or even check out the counter points to their claims. Now I am sure that coffee table/ water cooler talk for the next few days after seeing The Other Guys was factoids from the credits, but why were they there in the first place?
If the goal was to teach someone about corporate greed all you really did was take a movie night filled with laughter and have the audience who left the movie enraged at their bosses and big business that helps pay their pay checks, which in turn bought their popcorn. What’s the point of that? I know Hollywood has a political agenda they love to push onto people. Alas, I was very surprised at the medium they used this time to do it. The credits of a comedy? C’mon Hollywood that low even for you! I thought it was low when you convinced people to see Envy because it starred Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Christopher Walken, but this takes the cake!