Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bad vibrations

Oh, how I wanted to love The Other Guys. But I did not.

Don't get me wrong, it was funny. I liked it. Will Ferrell was fantastic, Michael Keaton (thank you God for Michael Keaton) was just everything I wanted and more, Eva Mendes was brilliant (I never thought I'd write, think or say that phrase), Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock were pitch-perfect... but Mark Wahlberg, oh Marky Mark Wahlberg...
I cannot for the life of me understand why, after his hilarious turn in The Departed, Mark Wahlberg falls so flat here. Perhaps because the chemistry between him and Will Ferrell is non-existent. You don't get the feeling that they were cracking each other up between takes or ad-libbing for the purpose of trying to one-up each other. It just seemed like they were delivering funny lines. And they do a decent job, it just doesn't feel organic and there's no magic.

The plot is pretty good, not that it really matters. I liked Step Brothers a great deal even though many people did not. The chemistry between the actors was enough to carry an otherwise ridiculously absurd movie. I wish The Other Guys had been more absurd, that it had been as cartoony and out-there as Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights. But it just wasn't.

This was a movie in desperate need of a straight man. Someone, anyone, to be the normal person who stands by in astonishment at the melee unfolding. Instead, Ferrell, Keaton and Wahlberg take turns as the straight man, and it doesn't work.

Still, it is still very funny, hilariously funny at points and definitely worth renting, especially if they release an R or unrated version. (Why PG-13 McKay? Why???) The action scenes are incredible.

I feel sad. What could cheer me up? Ah, I know:


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