The Other Guys

Director    Adam McKay
Starring    Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan
Release    6 AUG (US) 17 SEP (UK)    Certificate 12A
5 stars

Christopher Ratcliff

21st September 2010

Before leaving the house this morning to see Will Ferrell's 403rd high-concept comedy this century, I quickly glanced at today's Guardian, the film and music section to be more precise, where the esteemed film critic Peter Bradshaw gave The Other Guys an unprecedented 5 stars. Gosh. Being as I want to be just like Peter Bradshaw (P-Braddy) when I does grow up, I figured I'd have to give it 5 stars too, no matter what I actually thought of the film.

In fact, I don't think a naive, young critic such as myself can possibly do this complicated and brilliant film true justice, so instead of me reviewing it, I'm just going to copy and paste Mr. Bradshaw's review right here for you now. (Please note that for space I've had to edit the review down from its 9,000 word original, but hopefully what remains will still give you a flavour of his intention.) Enjoy!

"WHAT A MASTERPIECE! A triumph for the mind, ears and eyes! Such wonders! Such performances! And oh the mise-en-scene! This is cinema at its purest: joyful, engaging and utterly captivating.

"The story is complex yet delectably satisfying; choosing to stay true to the bones of Emile Zola's original novel, yet not afraid to go off on wildly imaginative yet contextually relevant tangents of its own. The Other Guys concerns two brushed aside NYPD detectives who finally come to the fore when superstar cops, Highsmith and Danson (delicious cameos from notable black person Samuel L. Jackson and a Rock), are killed in the line of duty.

"Inexperienced detectives Hoitz and Gamble find themselves way out of their league, immersed in a deadly game of cat and mouse, involving murder, corporate espionage and high-level corruption, all whilst battling their darkest personal demons. This is adult stuff indeed, played deftly with the graceful comic hand of criminally underrated director, Adam McKay (Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby).

[gallery]"Like Jean Renoir before him, McKay is at his finest dealing with multiple narratives and an ensemble cast of confident old hands and bright, shining new stars. Never has this been more obvious than during the rightfully classic 'very discreet brawl during a wake' scene. A segment that not only sums up The Other Guys as a whole, but also McKay's entire career itself; A discreet brawl during a wake. THOUGHT PROVOKING!

"Mark Wahlberg is a revelation as the damaged and heartbreakingly vulnerable Detective Hoitz. Will Ferrell has never EVER been more charming and creative as Detective Gamble, the troubled yet stoic ex-accountant having to work a beat against his will. The legendary Michael Keaton FINALLY returns after a long absence with a powerhouse performance that exudes masterfulness from every pore. Here are the roles these actors were all BORN TO PLAY! Everything they have achieved in their respectively excellent bodies of work has been leading up to this moment. The Other Guys is Ferrell, Wahlberg AND Keaton's Xanadu.

"Also do watch out for Damon Wayans Jr; he has finally stepped out from under his father's vast and intimidating shadow by commanding well deserved attention as the antagonistic and debonair Detective Fosse. It's a subtle yet memorable performance to make his father proud.

"Of particularly daring note is the film's anti corporate message. It's subtly laced, beneath the laughter, throughout the film's labyrinthine narrative, then brought to the fore over the final credits in a sumptuously rendered power-point style presentation, where the audience is smashed in the face with some stone cold facts of real life capitalist corruption, all to the tune of Rage Against the Machine's inspired cover of Dylan's anti-capitalist masterpiece 'Maggie's Farm'.

"Some people may say that this is a superficial co-opting of a popular message without any true value or understanding of its meaning, and that it's rather hypocritical for the producers of a $90 million Will Ferrell comedy to decry the greed of the non-Hollywood business world, but those people are just missing the point and can just fuck off.'

"Make no mistake, film fans, this is a refreshing blast of modern film making genius that will change the face of comedy forever." - Peter Bradshaw
(*dusts off hands, closes laptop lid, crosses arms, stares self-satisfied into the middle distance for nine whole minutes*)

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