I love Anchorman. I think ‘Ron Burgundy’ is arguably Will Ferrell’s best role. The one-liners, the amazing cast, the marvel moustaches – Ferrell and director Adam McKay’s collaboration on that faux-retro, news saga was…kind of a big deal.
But the projects between Ferrell and McKay didn’t stop with Burgundy; Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, a bunch of online Funny or Die sketches, these two have been inseparable since the lamp-loving magic of Anchorman. But just like milk on a hot day, these recent projects have all been bad choices. I’ll stop with the Anchorman references now.
The Other Guys is the duo’s latest attempt at rekindling the glory days. This effort takes the form of a buddy-cop satire pitting the lovably moronic Ferrell and the irritatingly moronic Mark Wahlberg, against the mean, gold-paved streets of corporate America.
When New York’s usual team of super-cops are out of commission, unlikely replacements Gamble (Ferrell) and Hoitz (Wahlberg) step up to fill the void. Ridiculed by their police peers as screw ups, both men set out on a mission to bring down the bad guys while showing the force they’re a team to be remembered, and not just ‘the other guys’.
And the result? Well, it’s better than the recent batch of Ferrell’s flicks. It’s still no Anchorman, but its jokes hit about as often as they miss, and when measured against the laugh-less Step Brothers, that’s actually a compliment. If you never found Ferrell’s awkward, occasionally loud and unpredictable style of humour, funny, The Other Guys won’t convert you. However, if you saw Old School in university and can’t quite kick your Ferrell habit (ahem), The Other Guys will probably remind you why you liked Ferrell in the first place.
But then there’s Wahlberg’s character. This constantly enraged, tantrum-throwing, child of a character is painfully unfunny, and his perma-Hulk routine gets old by scene two. Great comedy duos usually require a ‘straight man’ to the other person’s bizarre persona, but Wahlberg is just distracting and often ruins Ferrell’s purposely awkward rhythm. This ends up being the film’s biggest weakness.
Still, The Other Guys is a welcome addition to a laugh-free summer and a decent enough entry into Ferrell’s catalogue. It’s not as solid as Ferrell’s early comedies, but when you realize that The Other Guys ate a whole wheel of cheese, you won’t be upset, you’ll actually be impressed. I have no idea what that means.
I love Anchorman.