Monday, 1 November 2010
The Other Guys Review (Text)
At first, I wasn’t so sure The Other Guys sounded all that good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Wahlberg fan and everything, and I loved Will Ferrell in Zoolander, but it just didn’t seem like it would be my kind of thing – which is odd considering my favourite comedy movie of all time is about a detective and his incompetent sidekick trying to solve a massive case no-one believes is solvable and constantly ripping on each other (guessed what it is yet?) - but, I dunno. The Other Guys? Just didn’t sound right.
But then I watched the trailer for it online, and pissed myself all the way through it. This movie looked like it had everything – cool action, great comedy. I was in! No doubt about it. So, we headed to the cinema, and bought our tickets to The Other Guys. God I wish I’d been to see the new Saw instead…
To be fair, this movie started really promisingly. It opens with The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson as the super cool hero cops everyone wants to be like apprehending a group of armed criminals in a spectacular car chase and gun battle, which really got everyone in the cinema into the film. We are then introduced to the other Guys, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, who are the cops working behind the scenes, filling in the paperwork for Jackson and Johnson’s characters. The initial exchanges between the two of them are hilarious, and the timing is all perfect. Whilst some of the jokes were predictable early on, I still found myself laughing at quite a few of them, and generally enjoying the tone of the movie. However, things went downhill pretty soon after.
In the next scene they appear in, we see the Rock and Samuel L. Jackson chase a group of jewellery store robbers onto the roof of a building, and watch them escape on zip lines, which they then cut to prevent the two cops from following them. The pair look at each other, before awesomeness happens. There is a brief exchange of some manly fucking dialogue, and then the two of them jump:
“Whoa!” I thought when this happened. “I did not see that coming!”
I had been under the impression that the whole movie revolved around Ferrell and Wahlberg being in The Rock and Jackson’s shadows, as the ‘other guys’, and yet the two guys I had thought were taking 3rd and 4th to main characters had just died only about 10 minutes in. Ballsy strategy. And you know what? It worked – for a short while.
You see, at first, I was very impressed that they had killed off the guys who were set up as the main support characters, because it was so different, and I kind of thought “wow, if they can afford to kill those guys off like that, this film is gonna rock!”. Unfortunately, however, I was sadly mistaken. You see, whilst Wahlberg and Ferrell do manage to keep pace for a good while after this scene, the movie still dies before the halfway point.
As it progressed, I noticed there were less and less laughs to be had, but wasn’t that concerned, because I was certain the pace would pick right back up again, and things would be back to how they were at the beginning. Then came the scene that really got me bothered.
In one scene, Mark Wahlberg’s character goes to see his ex-girlfriend, who is a ballet dancer. When he sees her, he confronts her with “what are you doing, living like this? Coming in here, and shaking it for dollar bills?” and I was laughing, thinking “man, what an awesome way to piss off your ex – act like a twat and make out that her ballet studio is a strip club – that would be so embarrassing for her!”, but then realised, to my horror, that the character was actually supposed to think it was a strip club. And this pissed me off so much.
I’m all for having idiot characters – I loved the way Wahlberg was saying lots of non-sensical phrases earlier in the film, confusing metaphors and so on, but this just went way too far. I think one of the problems was that Will Ferrell is already set up as being the moron, and it would be nice to have a character who wasn’t a complete idiot for him to play off of. Another issue was that it was just so unbelievable. Right after this as Wahlberg shows off his ballet moves and when asked where he learned to dance like that replies “I learnt it when I was in school to make fun of the queer kids who did that shit”, that would have been a golden idiot moment for him, had it not been absolutely ruined by making the character look too moronic just a minute before.
After that point, the film really started crashing – the good jokes were poorly executed and fell flat, whilst the rest of the running time was filled with what nowadays passes as being a joke, but is really stretching the fucking definition. In short, it was a combination of the kind of scenes that appear in films like “Epic Movie” and “Date Movie” where they probably looked good on paper, but weren’t funny because they were executed poorly, and he kind of jokes they sometimes put in Family Guy which aren’t funny, but go on and on and on, because the idiots watching will have to start laughing eventually, right?
To an extent, I think it is partly my fault that I didn’t enjoy this film, because I didn’t particularly like Anchorman, and hadn’t realised that it was by the same guy, and in the same style. That said, however, the trailers were pretty fucking misleading, and clearly designed to get people who like real comedy to go and see the film, rather than just the Anchorman crowd. On top of this – at least Anchorman I sat through without thinking “this is just boring – I hope it ends soon”, because a few of the jokes were actually half decent – it’s just that whilst in Anchorman they spread a few decent jokes over the course all the movie, interrupting the crap occasionally, here they put all the good stuff at the very start, and the rest of the film was absolute wank. No joke – I literally went from that Ballet scene all the way to the end narration without cracking a smile, the film was that dull. Even in the scene where Steve Coogan bribes the guys with theatre tickets, I knew that the joke itself was actually quite a funny one, but it was done so poorly that I didn’t laugh in spite of the voice in my head saying “that’s a funny joke. How is this not funny? How the fuck do you take a joke that would make me laugh if I read it, and ruin it on screen? How is that even possible? I even know this should be funny, but it’s not! Fuck this director!”
In fact, it got so bad that even when the plot resolved itself in the big climactic scene, and we finally found out the truth behind the big case, I didn't care. It was a decent twist and everything, but the mindless non-jokes had just killed my enjoyment of the film by that point, so all I could think was "meh". When Mark Wahlberg then proceeded to take out two handguns and shoot a ridiculous number of people in ultra-slow motion whilst making his way across a room, all I could think was "man, Max Payne was actually pretty good..." - that was it, the action in their big finale was just stolen from another film. Not to mention the chase outside, which had such a lousy resolution I can't believe it actually made the final cut.
Unfortunately, we seem to have reached a point in film where absurd with no explanation is deemed to be the new definition of funny. If something is ‘random’, people will laugh at it. You know what I say? FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
Seriously, bring us back some half-decent comedy, guys! You want idiotic characters in absurd situations, what was wrong with Wayne’s World? It seem like the Director of this film has taken the style of Wayne’s World’s joke telling, but not actually realised what made Wayne’s World funny in the first place. Kind of like if you saw that Coca Cola is a billion dollar selling business and so brought out your own beverage which has only one thing in common with coke; a red can. Some idiots would still buy it, thinking it must be like coke, but those who actually have brain cells would judge the drink on it’s own merits, and see you had really just pissed in a bunch of red cans, you bastards! That’s kind of how this feels – people who think ‘random’ is cool will laugh at this, whereas people who actually know what comedy is will say “fuck this shit”, and walk out (or like me, say “when is this gonna pick back up again? It was really good at the start, why isn’t it funny any more?”). Seriously - not even Ray Stevenson managed to save this movie. The fucking PUNISHER could not save this movie. Did you see what a good review I gave War Zone?!?!?! And now I'm ripping the shit out of the next movie I see him in? That's how bad this film was. it was dull. It was boring. It was not funny.
Even the scene that most people are going on about, where Wahlberg and Ferrell get trashed in a bar and it's all shot as a series of stills put together which the camera moves through as though travelling through both time and the bar in one movement didn't impress me. Sure, it's different, which is good, but it killed the pace of the action, being such a slow scene, and just ultimately wasn't worth the pay off. i can imagine the exact same effect could look awesome elsewhere, but it just didn't work in The Other Guys - except to the extent that the fancy technology seems to have blinded people from important factors like flow and continuity, and left them pacified to the shit blizzard that was the second half of this movie. Fucking Shit Blizzards, Randy.
In short, save your money, don’t go and see this film. I got a copy of Kiss kiss Bang bang for 4 quid 3 years ago, and I bet it hasn’t gone up in price since then. Take the money you would have spent on seeing this, and watch that DVD instead – I guarantee you, you’ll have a much better time, as it’s a hilarious film by a competent director who actually knows how to do comedy. The other Guys, on the other hand, is one of the worst movies I have seen this year. Hell, I’d rather watch 2012 again than sit through this shit one more time. The only thing I can suggest is go into the cinema, watch til the end of The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson’s funeral, then get the fuck out of there before it goes to shit. But wait, don’t do that – because if people actually pay to see movies like this, they’ll just keep making them. This movie had a 90 million dollar budget, and still isn’t even a tenth of the movie the Trailer park Boys Movie (2006) was, which had a budget of 5 million CANADIAN dollars! Shit, going like for like with the detective theme, Kiss kiss Bang Bang only had an 18 million dollar budget, and that’s infinitely better. Now, I know you can’t always compare movies like this on a dollar-to-value basis (especially when 2 of your favourite ever comedies were very low budget affairs) – but come on, you could have made 10 Seagal films for the cost of this movie, and I guarantee they would have had me laughing far more than The other guys did (though not always intentionally).
Don’t see this film. And don’t see Let Me In, because Låt den rätte komma in should not have been remade. In fact, fuck it, if you have to go to the cinema, go see Mr nice, and tell me what you thought of it, because I loved the book, and I really wanna see that movie. Let’s just hope it’s nowhere near as big a let down as this one was.
I know it seems dumb that I would give a movie I was quoting with my brother only a few hours ago just one star, and to be honest, it is pretty stupid; there were some good jokes in it, and I loved the beginning, so I would really like to give this movie a 2 star rating. It's just that this was a real disappointment, they took a movie which could have been great, and just ran it into the ground. It's not absolutely dire, but definitely not worth giving the time to. I'd still recommend it over Buffy the Vampire Slayer or 28 weeks later, but only just. As I said, loved the opening, and a couple of bits were incredibly quotable, but it's just not worth sitting through all the boring unfunny crap they threw in with it to watch those bits. I think it's time we stood up and said "no" to these "comedies" which don't actually know how to tell a decent joke, and go back to good old fashioned film entertainment. And hey, You know what they could have spent that 90 million budget on instead?
George Clooney as Sam Fisher?!?! WHY DOES THIS MOVIE NOT EXIST ALREADY?!?!
Eva Mendes does have great tits though, amiright?