Making the Grades
During the dog days of summer, cinemas usually host a variety of low-ball comedies that play best to audiences seeking a cool, relaxing place to rest their brains. In the case of this movie, you may need to go a step further and completely shutdown your cerebrum in order to survive.
The fact the film stars Will Ferrell (who also appears in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Semi-Pro) should be an immediate indication of what to expect. Here he plays a policeman named Allen Gamble, a nerd anxious to fit into the cop culture. This desire to be a real toughie instead of one of the wimpy "other guys" makes him a prime target for his coworker’s practical jokes and insults. He’s teamed up with a hot-tempered desk jockey, which begs the question: Why has Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) been saddled with Gamble and office duty?
Desperate to get back on the streets and doing some exciting police work, Hoitz convinces his partner in law to go out on a call. Cruising in Gamble’s Prius (one of many in-your-face product placements), the impetuous act inadvertently leads the pair into a major crime investigation… and the ongoing wrath of their Captain (Michael Keaton).
The opening half hour fires off a fair number of reasonably funny lines, but the comedic bullets are quickly exhausted. Increasingly long scenes of stupidity, unwarranted action sequences and needless script detours hamper this movie’s artistic merit. Most parents will not appreciate the frequent sexual jokes, crude remarks and profanities. Nor are they likely to approve of the generous depictions of violence, including a suicide, all of which are played for humor.
Finally, if the names of Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson on the marquee are enticing you to still give this film a shot, all I can say is "buyer beware." Without spoiling what little “surprise” this movie has to offer, don’t expect to get your money’s worth from seeing these two celebs. Instead, you’ll find yourself stuck with the other guys for a very tedious two hours.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Other Guys.
Why do you think the writers of this script selected police officers as the profession for the main characters? What possible satisfaction does the audience derive from this choice?
Do you think sexual jokes and dialogue are overused in comedies today? Why do you think so many scripts utilize the type of comedy found in this movie?