First off, I’d like to apologize to my readers for not writing as much of late. I also apologize for not writing anything aside from my movie reviews and that sadly Open Grave is the only film of 2014 I have had the chance to view. However, spring break is coming up at the end of the week so prepare yourselves for a plethora of current film reviews. I’m also going to try to get in the habit of writing a life post each week, because I want to share a little bit about myself as well as my perspective on life.
Moving on, The Other Guys. I remember when this movie came out but I ended up not seeing it, partially because I’m not that fond of Mark Wahlberg. It’s nothing personal, but at the end of the day I always feel like I’m watching a white guy trying to act like Samuel L. Jackson, except that no one can fully replicate Samuel L. Jackson and while Jackson’s ostentatious vibrato is vibrantly captivating, Wahlberg tends to encompass a white-boy rapper who utilizes the f-bomb to such an absurd proportion that it’s not even funny, it’s just stupid.
Lo and behold, Samuel L. Jackson makes an appearance to start off the film with Wahlberg in the same room, which I was very surprised did not include a “I’m better than you” squabble match between the two, which Wahlberg would have lost. Anyway, Will Ferrell and Wahlberg are one duo who tend to sit in the office and get disrespected day in and day out while Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are the duo that blows stuff up and gets stuff done. Right off the bat, I’m intrigued and at the same time perturbed because I’m not sure how director Adam McKay is going to split the film’s running time between such great duos of actors. I say duos, as in plural, because within the first couple minutes I know that Wahlberg is going to be more than tolerable for me because of the character he is enfolding. He’s a character, Terry Hoitz, who’s tired of being pushed around and overlooked and is tired of being surrounded by his mild-mannered partner Allen Gamble (Ferrell), who thinks everything is wonderful and life couldn’t get better. He’s far too happy and upbeat for Hoitz, who just wants Gamble to shut up and come down from his pedestal on happy land. It’s a character I can relate to because on occasion it exemplifies the relationship that my roommate, Jon, and I share. In the morning, Jon says hello to every person we walk by and I don’t talk to anyone till I’ve had my breakfast so I don’t say anything, which means I get unpleasant looks from the people walking by, which I then put on Jon, etc. We’re just on two different planets at that time of day, where as Hoitz and Gamble seem to be on different planets at all times of the day.
So there’s potential there for sure, but there’s also Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock, who are entertaining and already have a full-out dynamic chemistry going within the first couple scenes, leaving the audience pulled in two different directions of which group they want to follow. McKay makes the decision for us, killing off Jackson and Johnson in perhaps the dumbest death scene I have ever seen. It is illogical and so stupid that it’s not even funny, it’s just like, “Well that was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen and now I’m really pissed.” So there’s that and while it helps push the story forward and bring Ferrell and Wahlberg to the spotlight, it also takes a lot of air out of the sails that could have taken the film so much farther than it goes. This movie could have become a comedic hilarity with some of the most elite actors in the business. Would the plot have been shaken a lot and been hard to write? I’m sure, but a series of random jokes loosely tied to reality featuring Jackson, Johnson, Ferrell and Wahlberg delivering the punch lines I think would have been a huge success, which only saddened me because of the potential the film let go to waste.
Ferrell and Wahlberg still deliver plenty of humor and originality through the script and dialogue but at some points beat the comedic horse to death, resurrect the horse, kill it again, and resurrect it yet a third time before finally decapitating it for the final hurrah that really isn’t a hurrah at all but rather a long sigh from the audience that may or may not include a “Thank God” declaration from an individual viewer or the only group of sober people in the audience. I think this film is aimed at the same group of people that Happy Madison Productions tends to target, college kids who may be currently involved in a drinking binge and want something to look at that has the possibility of being more attractive than their trashed counterparts. It could be something incredibly dumb and make no sense but chances are if you put in a minimal amount of effort and smile you’ll get the drunkards pissing their pants and howling to the moon. Since I’m sober and not wasted out of my mind, I end up looking at the jokes and thinking, “Was that supposed to be funny or did the screenwriters just draw a blank in the middle of the script?”
Thankfully not all the jokes are as ill-founded as the ones I describe above because there’s some serious gumption (which means shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness, I didn’t know that either) to some of the lines that Ferrell and Wahlberg get the chance to deliver. The comedic timing is pretty good and the jokes themselves are random and although not completely slapdash (which means careless; bet you didn’t know that one), they can be at times, which is okay because it’s fun.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
90-100 It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mission Impossible, Mission Impossible II, Mission Impossible III)
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Iron Man, Lone Survivor, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Next Three Days, Basic)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Aliens, Alien Resurrection, Full Metal Jacket, Thor, You’re Next)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (The Great Gatsby, Pitch Black, Alien, Serendipity, Cowboys and Aliens)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy, Dark Fury, Alien 3, Open Grave)
My score for The Other Guys: 81.
We get some spastic punches from The Other Guys, but the fact that you watch further potential and what could have been get smashed on the pavement is discouraging. It’s a fun watch for the most part that clears the average barrier, but isn’t doing quite enough to be memorable for me.