Cock­eyed and loaded buddy cops

The Other Guys 1/2

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

Star­ring Will Fer­rell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Eva Men­des, Steve Coogan, Rob Riggle, Da­mon Wayans Jr, Dewayne John­son, Sa­muel L Jack­son. Writ­ten by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. 107 min­utes, rated M (vi­o­lence and sex­ual ref­er­ences), show­ing at Read­ing Cine­mas Porirua.

Ial­ways find re­view­ing Will Fer­rell movies to be a tricky propo­si­tion – first im­pres­sions can be deceiving.

re­call ap­prais­ing An­chor­man mildly as a hit-and-miss af­fair – I’ve now seen it at least 10 times and love it to death.

On first view­ing, his fash­ion­able vil­lain in Zoolan­der grated the hell out of me, now I chuckle just think­ing about Mu­gatu. And I’m pretty sure I deemed Tal­ladega Nights to be ab­sur­dist ge­nius – but on re­peated view­ing I’ve strug­gled to make it through 30 min­utes.

Fer­rell’s pic­tures are pep­pered with mo­ments of sub­lime id­iocy and quotable trea­sures, but his im­prov-heavy ‘‘ straight man to a buf­foon in three sec­onds’’ schtick can go off the rails at any given moment. And a fan’s good­will to for­give the mis­steps is of­ten only as strong as the last act of lu­nacy.

It goes with­out say­ing, if Will Fer­rell is not your cup of tea, best not drink from The Other Guys. And if you ex­pect Sa­muel L Jack­son and Dewayne Johnston to play ma­jor roles, pre­pare to be dis­ap­pointed – they are only on­board for the set-up.

Fer­rell plays Allen Gam­ble, a desk-jockey NYPD de­tec­tive who loves the pa­per­work and stay­ing out of trou­ble.

He’s part­nered with Mark Wahlberg’s hot-headed Terry Holtz, who craves crime scenes and car chases, but com­mit­ted ca­reer sui­cide the sec­ond he ac­ci­dently shot a base­ball star.

Des­per­ate to prove his worth, Holtz pur­sues a case that gets them both in over their heads.

At times The Other Guys show­cases Fer­rell at the top of his game, hi­lar­i­ously drift­ing be­tween square peg and rav­ing lu­natic. The di­a­logue is pretty sweet – I’d give a cou­ple stars just for the ‘‘lion ver­sus the tuna’’ di­a­tribe, and Wahlberg is an in­spired choice for a comic coun­ter­point, a par­ody of his work in The De­parted.

But as the movie pro­gresses, the gags get more des­per­ate, at­tract­ing Naked Gun com­par­isons, and the stale me­chan­ics of the ac­tion genre are more pro­nounced as the plot is hur­ried along.

Whether I’ll en­joy The Other Guys more or less the sec­ond time around is any­one’s guess, but at least I’m up for giv­ing it a spin. I cer­tainly couldn’t say the same for other re­cent buddy cop larks, Knight and Day and Cop Out.

I’m with stupid: Chem­istry is key for Will Fer­rell and Mark Wahlberg in the of­ten hi­lar­i­ous The Other Guys.

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