The Other Guys directed by Adam McKay
Will Ferrell had a dry spell after Old School. In my opinion, Hank the Tank was one of the best comedy roles of all time. I’m not sure if it was accident, or if Will Ferrell was a genius and knew exactly what he was doing. I’ve watched more movies than I think 99% of the population and I think I know the crux of the appeal.
In Old School, Will Ferrell played it serious.
Yes, I said it. Frank the Tank going streaking was him in a serious role, similar to Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The humor wasn’t the fact that he was putting in effort trying to be funny, it was the fact that he reflected being a middle aged man in America with a mid life crisis.
Was he playing some slapstick role that he has played since? (Blades of Glory, Land of the Lost, Kicking and Screaming, etc) Nope. I would argue at least half of the films since Old School that Will Ferrell starred in have been bad, which is sad, considering his talent.
Then he starred in The Other Guys, teaming up with Mark Wahlberg.
And he played it serious, even going as far as being the boring guy.
The dynamic duo of Ferrell/Wahlberg worked. I especially enjoy the scene when they go home for dinner and Wahlberg doesn’t believe who his wife is. And here is the thing, the gimmick wasn’t new, but Eva Mendes played is straight as well. This forced the comedy on Mark Wahlberg to show his expressions and facial reactions, and he nailed it. Go through the entire movie, and just watch when you laugh. The jokes are not as funny as the acting is.
When did I laugh the most in the movie? It was when Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock “went for it” one final time and jumped off that building. It was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. Was it supposed to be some obnoxious joke? Nope. They played it serious, which made it funny. Serious actors over-acting is funny in comedy. Comedians over-acting in films get old after a few flicks.
The casting of Michael Keaton before the Keaton-sance was brilliant as well.
Are there slow parts of the movie? Sure. But sometimes in comedy scenes only work the first time. But all in all, the film works, and is probably the second best Will Ferrell movie since Old School. Anchorman is probably his classic. Elf is now a christmas classic. Stranger than Fiction ranks up there too, especially as a writer, but it requires a certain mood to watch. Outside of that, his random cameos have actually been his best work (Wedding Crashers, The Goods, The Internship)
Movie Rating: 8/10 Trophy Wives