Directed by Adam McKay (2010)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★1/2
I don’t watch a lot of comedies. This isn’t because I dislike the genre; no, it’s quite the contrary, but the problem is that the number of bad comedies easily outnumber the number of good ones. A good comedy must be well-written, well-timed, well-acted and well-delivered (refer to: Little Miss Sunshine and Hot Fuzz). So I was extremely and pleasantly surprised at how funny The Other Guys was. I deliberately skipped it in cinemas but since it was the one film on the airplane I still hadn’t seen, I gave it a try and found myself laughing from start to finish.
The plot: two police officers, Detective Allen and Detective Terry, are the losers and laughing stock of their colleagues. Receiving no respect from the other officers, they are left dealing with paperwork. But when they stumble upon an opportunity to prove their worth, ‘the other guys’ step up to the challenge to show that they can actually accomplish something.
Two things stood out.
First, Will Ferrell’s performance. I have to admit I hadn’t seen very many of Will Ferrell’s films, but I got a glimpse of his brilliant acting in Stranger Than Fiction, one of his few serious roles which he executed superbly. He does it again in this film. I now see why he’s labeled as one of the leading comic actors around (though I’d have to watch his other films to be able to confidently state that fact). Mark Wahlberg’s performance was refreshing as well, though he wasn’t up to Will Ferrell’s standard.
But what was undeniably holding the film together was the script – a round of applause for Chris Henchy and Adam McKay, the scriptwriters. The dialogue was pure comedy and solidly written. It’s not rare to happen upon a comedy that runs entirely on one-liners and bursts of short comical scenes, but it’s rare for it to work. Since when does an argument involving tunas devouring lions on land by constructing breathing apparatuses with kelp become so hilarious? If you get a chance, watch it. I guarantee you’ll be laughing your head off.