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The Other Guys(2010)
Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize -- only things don't quite go as planned.
For more about The Other Guys and the The Other Guys Blu-ray release, see the The Other Guys Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 2, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Adam McKay, Chris Henchy
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson
» See full cast & crew
The Other Guys Blu-ray Review
Not everyone can be a superstar.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 2, 2010
Did that go the way you thought it was going to go? Nope.
The Other Guys sells its entire bill of goods on a unique and interesting premise, but the movie only partway fulfills its potential. Taking aim at the hero Buddy Cop pictures of yore, this latest collaboration from the team of Actor Will Ferrell and Director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) posits a fascinating question: just who the heck are those other guys who are always standing around in the background when the Hero Cops get all the glory? Are they, too, modern-day superheroes with guns and badges and police sirens who simply didn't get the call to save the day on that particular afternoon? Is the heroism and the glory and the incredible skill and dedication reserved for but a select few, or does the NYPD provide training in the art of the cinematic car chase and perfect shootout to every new recruit? Is everyone on the force issued that magical pistol that never needs to be reloaded, or are they too cost prohibitive and given to only the guys who are assigned the unenviable task of saving the city on a daily basis? Or are they just average Joes, busy handing out traffic tickets, slaving away on the computer, and hoping that they can say, "hey look! there I am in the background!" while Sam Jackson and The Rock flex their biceps, twirl their guns, kiss the girl, and receive the medal? Some of these questions and more are explored in the sometimes uproariously funny but occasionally dragging The Other Guys, a hit-and-sometimes-miss Action/Comedy hybrid that, despite some flaws, is a wonderful little diversion of a movie that's not to be missed.
New York's finest cops -- Detectives Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson, Southland Tales) and P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson, Unthinkable) -- have just busted some thugs for possession of half a pound of marijuana, and managed to cause $12 million in damages along the way. That's not a problem, though; they're the city's top cops, and their heroics have just made the streets a little but safer, if not a little bit more costly. Danson and Highsmith are praised by all in the department, including pencil-pusher Detective Allen Gamble (Ferrell), but Gamble's distraught partner, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg, We Own the Night), doesn't see the big deal and just wants to do his job. Hoitz has been handcuffed, figuratively speaking, since he accidentally wounded a local hero, and he's yearning to get back into the game and away from both his desk and his dunce of a partner. When things go terribly wrong and Danson and Highsmith leave a gap in the department for the title of "Super Cops," Gamble and Hoitz do their best to seize the moment and prove their worth as the department's best crime-fighting tandem, even if that means pursuing a go-nowhere investigation into a local billionaire (Steve Coogan) for failing to secure proper scaffolding permits around the city. With another pair of wannabe hotshot cops vying for the spotlight, Gamble and Hoitz must not only prove their worth to the department but to one another as their investigation leads them to a troubling discovery that could have powerful repercussions throughout the entire New York Police Department and elevate them from "other guy" status to the city's sexiest top action hero cops.
The Other Guys delivers a faultlessly entertaining first act that's so much fun and so deliciously and perfectly over-the-top that one can't help but wonder if Writers Adam McKay and Chris Henchy can keep the movie going at light speed for its duration. Of course the answer is "no," but Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg hold things together rather well despite a script that loses some steam and some laughs that become a bit tedious and tiresome along the way. The Other Guys falls into the trap of repeating the same handful of jokes over and over again -- Gamble's incredible luck with landing beautiful women and Hoitz's references to flying peacocks among them -- that border on wearing out their welcome and certainly aren't quite as funny the fourth or fifth time through. It's clear that the movie tries too hard in several places -- particularly in building a complete plot that doesn't necessarily hold any weight except as a frame through which McKay plays out the gags and the story of unlikely heroes thrust into the spotlight -- and it has the sluggish stretches to show for it. Still, the humor is generally fresh and offers a nice mixture of the subtle and the over-the-top, giving The Other Guys a nice balance that, combined with the slick action sequences, breathe life into the movie and keeps its blood pumping for the duration, even through those few minutes where the movie practically slows down to a crawl.
Even when things aren't going swimmingly for The Other Guys, the cast holds things together and keeps the picture on an even keel until they're once again picked up by the witty script and further carried by the strength of the idea. Wahlberg and Farrell share an obvious chemistry that's so good that one can only hope the two are paired up again somewhere down the line, maybe in a sequel called The Other Other Guys or something along those lines where they've become the death-defying Hero Cops and have to deal with their own background admirers who are good for little more than hosting "kick me" signs on the seat of their pants. The Wahlberg-Farrell relationship is outstanding in this setting because the characters are such an odd couple but share in common only humiliation and disgrace in the department; the two actors milk the nonsensical characters for all they're worth, with Ferrell in particular deadpanning his part so well that even a Comedic actor of his stature completely disappears into the role. Wahlberg nearly matches him stride for stride; his character is a bit more grounded in reality and is something of an eager beaver hoping to prove that his one major mistake -- one for which the entire city of New York hates him -- wasn't indicative of his worth as a cop. The two primaries are supported by a wonderfully strong supporting cast; Johnson and Jackson are the perfect Hero cops, and Michael Keaton delivers an exceptional performance as the precinct's Captain in what is his best effort in years. Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr. are also well-cast as the other tandem that wants to seize the moment and elevate themselves to Hero Cop status.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Other Guys features a wonderful 1080p transfer in the traditional Sony filmic style. The studio's latest effort gives the image a consistently handsome cinematic texture that's overflowing with details and features an abundance of pitch-perfect colors, accentuated by a precision layer of natural film grain. The Other Guys isn't a typical 21st century Comedy in terms of its looks; the image isn't caked in overly warm colors as contrast is well balanced and every hue takes on a wonderfully natural shade, whether more neutral and dull colors or the more lively ones that spring up every now and again. Fine detail is exquisite, with the transfer seeming to go out of its way to capture every nitty-gritty texture around New York City. Sidewalk curbs, overhead shots of city streets, and building façades all appear perfectly rendered. Even better, the image retains a seamless clarity even in distance shots where detail never lags behind the foreground, giving the image a sharp and perceptibly deep appearance. Blacks are rich and never appear to overwhelm important details, while flesh tones remain neutral-to-ever-so-slightly-orange. True to Sony's usual high standards, the image appears free of excessive digital tinkering; banding, blocking, and other eyesores are well-hidden if they're present, and even though there's a slightly over-sharpened sheen to some shots, there's no evidence of unwanted edge enhancement. Overall, this is another brilliant transfer from Blu-ray's most consistent major studio.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Other Guys bursts onto Blu-ray with a strong but not quite reference-grade DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Sony's latest highly-proficient soundtrack delivers a quality listen that will leave audiences satisfied but not overjoyed with the presentation; it's generically strong, meaning it's on par with the average upper-tier Blu-ray soundtrack, but it never sets itself apart as an elite presentation. This soundtrack delivers some pulse-pounding LFE in several instances, whether during a blaring Hip Hop tune heard over film's open or in various explosions and powerful weapons fire. Machine guns pound out round after round in one scene with the surrounds sending the rattling and rolling and whizzing bullets all over the soundstage followed by their impacts on various metallic surfaces, but the rear channels aren't used much outside this and similar action scenes. Ambience is quite limited; the track captures a few niceties around city exteriors, helicopter fly-bys, and various scene-specific elements such as idling engines and walkie-talkie chatter, but there's rarely a time when the soundstage isn't being overrun by action effects that the listener feels sonically immersed into the fictionalized world of Gamble and Hoitz. Dialogue, of course, is precisely centered and every syllable perfectly delivered. The Other Guys' lossless presentation is sound, but not particularly memorable.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Other Guys bring with them a smorgasbord of extra content to this Blu-ray release, including a unique audio commentary track and more than a dozen additional features, most of them fluffy fillers less then several minutes in length.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Superstar Director Kevin Smith recently tackled the Buddy Cop genre in his own Action/Comedy hit Cop Out that also focused on two pairs of cops attempting to outdo one another while trying to solve a case. The Other Guys, despite Smith's superior pedigree, is the stronger of the two for not only its more well-rounded (if not somewhat tiresome in places) humor and superior cast but better pacing and more memorable and more finely-developed characters. The Other Guys has "potential greatness" written all over it, whereas Cop Out never seems to strive to be anything better than average. Unfortunately, this latest from Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg just misses the mark and can't quite take those last few extra steps required to achieve the level of Action/Comedy perfection the film comes so close to achieving. Nevertheless, there's an outrageously fun and supremely well-acted hit here, and it's sure to appeal to a wide range of moviegoers, including Action junkies and Comedy connoisseurs. Other than at a clean and calibrated multiplex, Sony's Blu-ray disc is the best way to watch The Other Guys. Featuring a typical-of-Sony near faultless 1080p transfer, a quality lossless soundtrack, and a large quantity of extra content, The Other Guys is a Blu-ray disc well worth adding to the collection. Recommended.
The Other Guys: Other Editions
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