Review by: Ryan Oliver
Over the course of the last decade, spoof movies have lost the touch and craft of what makes them funny. The trick to making a good spoof is to make a movie in the genre that you’re sending up and then make fun of the aspects of said genre. Lately, the spoof movies we have gotten just merely reference popular movies and hope that it’s good enough (such as Date Movie, Epic Movie, or any movie that ends in the word “Movie”). No punch lines, no set ups, no pay offs, nothing. Fortunately, just in time to save this nearly laugh-free summer, here comes the comedic team of Will Farrell and director Adam McKay (the man behind Farrell’s funniest films: Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers) to channel the energy of the old Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker gang with The Other Guys, a hilarious send-up of the buddy cop genre that both honors the genre and throws it under the bus.
NYPD Detective Allen Gamble (Farrell) is a desk jockey who loves what he does. Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) is Allen’s partner who ends up behind the desk after an accidental shooting in the field. Terry hates pushing papers and living in the shadows of the cops who are getting all the action (Action honchos Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson). When the bumbling duo stumble over a money scam by a shady investor (Steve Coogan), the two decide that it’s their time to step up and fill the shoes of the big guys.
It’s got a simple, typical buddy-cop plot, but the reason this movie is so damn funny is that it takes every aspect of those films and sticks it to them good. The overblown explosions, the bullet-filled gun fights, the ridiculous things the forensics always find in a missing car, and just about anything else you can think of gets it. Plus, the banter between Farrell and Wahlberg is hilarious. Farrell flies on a full tank of comic energy, and mismatched Wahlberg is in full-on Departed mode, but this mesh works perfectly. The supporting cast is mostly put on the backburner with the exception of Michael Keaton, who plays the guys’ captain to pure comic perfection.
The only flaw I can find in this movie is that the last twenty minutes turns into the type of movie that it’s making fun of, similar to what happened with Hot Fuzz (although they started speaking in action movie cliches on purpose for laughs). However, you’ll still be smiling from the first hour-and-twenty-five minutes that you won’t care. The Other Guys is a riot from beginning to end. It further solidifies my opinion that Will Farrell and Adam McKay is one comedic team that shouldn’t stop making comedies for a long time.
The Other Guys
Directed by Adam McKayWritten by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy
Stars Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material
*** (out of four)