Who are these guys? Why are they chasing Jamaicans armed with machine guns? Why do Jamaicans with an ounce of pot have high-tech weaponry anyway? Why are the special effects so bad?
Confused as to what’s going on here? Welcome to The Other Guys, a film that takes off with such blinding speed, there’s no chance for any real connection with any of these characters or a plot line of any coherence. Will Ferrell plays Will Ferrell, which is usually fine, but here the incessant rambling just drags an already too long movie even further into a hole it can’t pull itself out of.
Ferrell, along with his partner Mark Wahlberg, are stuck as desk jockeys for the NYPD, yet yearn for more. What do they do? Hop out of their seats and decide to become cops. Calls come in over the scanner for some dangerous robberies, and detectives race for the door to be first responders. Why? How is that their job? Wouldn’t someone working the streets be responding to these calls?
Other Guys is stupid, and hey, it’s supposed to be. The whole thing is so lax, lazy, and barely funny it never feels like it reaches the heart of the potential. Complaining about office logistics is more or less rambling, but it happens before anything (plot, characters) are entrenched. Of course, we have a film where Ferrell and Wahlberg are playing miss-matched partners, a script that never would have seen the light of day were it not for the leads. We’ve certainly been here before.
There are some action scenes peppered throughout, none very lively or unique. In fact, Other Guys sole memorable moment are a series of 3D still images in a bar. It generates more laughs than anything else in the film, both leads more zany here without dialogue than they are with. The endless fights and complaints between them run dry after their first car ride together, but it’s all this movie has to go on.
Finally, you have an end credits sequence that is as out of place as a puppy playing with a bunny in a Saw movie. The whole film concerns a ponzi scheme, while the end credits let us know about all of the CEOs, bailouts, and bonuses that occurred in real life. Other Guys is hardly the movie to make your point, especially since we just watched Will Ferrell become a pimp (but not a pimp) and Wahlberg shoot Derek Jeter. Right or wrong, the political sentiment is baffling, and a real turn-off right before walking away. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]
This is a rare misfire for Sony, an AVC encode lathered in edge enhancement and some additional processing. Letting the simply terrible visual effects slide (which look atrocious), the whole film looks like some sort of unfinished deleted scene, or a maybe a master that’s about 10-years older than this.
The walls and windows of the police station are riddled with visible noise, an annoyance especially considering how many scenes are confined to this one location. Any bright backgrounds reveal the extent of the artificial sharpening, thick, dark halos surrounding various parts of the image. It effects everything, elevating that grain structure while causing medium or long shots to appear significantly muddy and lifeless. There’s even a shot where Wahlberg looks oppressively DNR’ed at 1:35:39. Not even the end credits can escape, dark halos surrounding the text and various graphics working their way through the frame.
Other Guys is not a great looking film in the first place, the garish orange flesh tones countered by the “how did this ever become popular” teal backgrounds. A scene inside Bed, Bath, and Beyond at 1:18:30 is so horrifically tweaked, it’s as if the human eye suddenly lost its ability to process other colors. Few varied hues are ever allowed to stand out aside from red, Ferrell driving around a Prius that is intensely saturated.
Black levels are stable, and superb actually. A sequence where Ferrell reunites with his wife (Eva Mendes) outside at night is brilliant for its ability to maintain shadow detail and deliver stunning, rich blacks. They never falter either, remaining consistent for the entirety of the film. Facial detail is another highlight, although somewhat coarse and unrefined due to the tampering. There are a number of impressive close-ups, even if that level of texture is zapped the second the camera pans back. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Video]
A DTS-HD mix is at least respectable, presenting a strong start as Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson kick things off in a chase. Gunfire zips through the surrounds, car engines catch the sub, and explosions rattle the room with some clean, powerful low-end work. All of this is cloned later during another case around 1:31:00, the stereo split tremendously well handled. It leads to a helicopter showdown about five-minutes later as distinct surround machine gun fire is noted, followed by yet another massive fireball that is as satisfying as they come.
There’s a lot of glass shattered in this one, from a wrecking ball smashing through a window at 13:45 to an office brawl at 1:22:30. It all cleanly passes through the available channels, creating a fine sweeping effect in the process.
Everything is balanced too. There’s a brawl at a funeral where everyone tries to remain quiet, whispering chants and taunts as to not get caught. There’s no discrepancy that will create issues between this and those overly boisterous action scenes. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Movie]
Extras are annoyingly spread thin, aggravatingly split up into tiny featurettes or snippets, some of which are completely pointless. There is a commentary here… err, “Mom”-entary, where the moms of Adam McKay, Christopher Henchy, and Will Ferrell get together to chat about the movie. It’s all mostly nonsense, and feels much like the movie itself: a great idea for five minutes. The extended version of the move is included (all time stamps refer to the theatrical), adding a layer of R-rated comedy. Line-o-rama features some amusing improv followed by a gag reel. Flash Forward is a look at what happened to some of the characters post-mayhem.
Wasn’t That? is the longest featurette at 15-minutes, focusing on the cameos and characters. Crash and Burn tells us about the action scenes, while Why Are There Brits in this Movie is a parody piece about Steve Coogan. Rob Riggle Likes to Party has the actor discussing his idea of a party backstage, while a short piece on a behind-the-scenes game called We Shouldn’t Kiss Chicken is included.
Mark Wahlberg’s Eating Contest Entourage looks at an extreme eater Wahlberg has on set… for some reason. Bed Bath and Way Beyond offers footage of a Keaton scene that was trimmed for time. A commercial for the fake company featured in the film is here, while a series of interviews are shot in extreme close-up, yet again not funny after a minute or two. Everyone Hates the DVD Guy shows the various crew members becoming frustrated by the behind-the-scenes camera man. Some alternate action scene angles, a music video, trailers, Movie IQ, and BD-Live are left. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Extras]
Note: Time stamps are incorrect due to Media Player Classic being a putz… again.