Back in 2004, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell struck comedy oil when they teamed up to make Anchorman, inspiring a million people to endlessly quote the script and also launching a film-making relationship that would take in the comparatively poor Talladega Nights and the slightly better, if not excellent Step Brothers. Now six years later, the pair have reunited for buddy cop parody The Other Guys, which is available to buy on Blu-ray in the U.K. from January 24th.
Here's an early review;
The mismatched cop movie is already based on the comic conceit of an odd couple having to pull together, despite their differences, with leads to a lot of situational comedy, which is why Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Die Hard With A Vengeance and Stake Out will always be infinitely funnier than Cop Out and The Other Guys. And they don't all overtly try for laughs. That's the problem with The Other Guys; there are some genuinely funny moments (like the Super Cops intro, and their end), but the film tries way too insistently at times to be funny. It's a shame because when the comedy feels more natural and less showy it is very well done.
Parodies of the odd couple cop film can work- look at the silly, but entertaining Loaded Weapon with Emilio Estevez, which took a leaf out of the Hot Shots book for spoofery, but I think it's a genre that requires either going full throttle with the comedy (as with Loaded Weapon) or making the comedy a secondary concern to the traditional generic traits (as with Die Hard 3 and Lethal Weapon), Choosing a middling approach, as it seems The Other Guys did means the slower less joke-heavy segments drag horrendously and confuse the overall pacing.
This is one of the funniest things Ferrell has done in recent years, though even then it fails to hit any of his career high-points- I suspect his routine is just too familiar, but at least here we have a more subtle Ferrell character, without the macho bravado of Anchorman or his sports "comedies". Alongside him, Mark Wahlberg strays from good to terrible pretty quickly, and often in the same scene - his nervous, angry energy often comes across as too forced, and his character is incredibly difficult to like, even though we are charged with sympathising with his frustration at being one of the Other Guys.
Overall, much like the majority of Adam McKay's work, and indeed Will Ferrell's, the comedy of The Other Guys is effective in places, though it does run out of steam between the better jokes, and it is fundamentally disposable: there will be no lasting legacy borne out of this film, and it won't change your opinion of cinema as a whole, but there is enough to enjoy among the surprisingly well-done action scenes and the bravado-laced banter to make it a worthwhile film to return to on Blu-ray.
It is a huge shame that McKay allowed the end credits to roll as they did, featuring real life financial figures of bonuses and bailouts. It has to be the most confusing choice I've ever witnessed: while its clearly meant as a politicised message, all your left with is the confused idea that the film itself was trying to preach an anti-Capitalist lesson. And then you think of the actual substance of the film, and the two ideas don't mesh leaving a bitter after-taste right as you're about to turn the thing off.
Very good. The action scenes in particular look and sound spectacular, which you would expect from Sony, who seem keen to keep up a consistent level of quality across all releases. The film's colour reproduction looks perfectly natural, with the usual yard-stick- skin tones- being faithfully warm and just as natural. Detail wise, the transfer looks incredibly sharp and clean with no sign of deficiencies anywhere, and black levels and shadow tonal depth and delineation are excellent and very consistent throughout, especially in night time scenes.
Thousands of them, but quite a lot of them are a bit unnecessary, and seem to be trying a little too hard to convince us how much of a ripping good time everyone had on set while filming. The "We Shouldn't Kiss Chicken" and "Everybody Hates The DVD Guy" are particularly asinine, but at least they've gone some way to give fans more Ferrell and Wahlberg screen time.
Mom-entary Audio Commentary Line-O-Rama Gag Reel Deleted and Extended Scenes Flash-Forwards Alternate Action Wasnt That?? Crash and Burn Why are there Brits in this movie? Rob Riggle Likes to Party We Shouldnt Kiss Chicken Mark Wahlbergs Eating Contest Entourage Bed, Bath and Way Beyond Lendl Global Commercial Extreme Close-Up Pimps Dont Cry Music Video Everybody Hates The DVD Guy Previews The Other Guys is available on Blu-ray from Monday 24th January in the U.K.