Plot: What’s it about?
Ever since Will Ferrell was on Saturday Night Live, it seemed that he was destined to be one of the chosen few that would actually have a film career after he left the show. Ferrell made his mark as a comedic actor, though he’s dabbled in the occasional drama. Granted he started out with films like “Old School” and “Anchorman” (both of which are hilarious, by the way) and has had other great roles in films like “Talladega Nights”, “Step Brothers” and “Elf.” I will say that Ferrell tends to play the same sort of character in film after film, but hey – that’s what they’re paying him for and as the old adage goes…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There’s actually a funny story behind the making of this movie in that during the 2007 Academy Awards Will Ferrell was pointing out actors in the audience making some flip remarks about them. Ferrell then gets to Mark Whalberg and says (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Mark Wahlberg…you’re cool, I’ve got no problem with you.” This set some writers’ minds spinning and a couple of years later, we’ve got “The Other Guys.”
The premise is somewhat simple as we meet badass hero cops Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson). These two always get their man regardless of how much it ends up costing the city. They get the underlings to do their paperwork for them while they hog the spotlight. After a rather unfortunate accident, Highsmith and Danson are “out of commission” and the city needs two other cops to step it up. Enter Terry (Mark Wahlberg) and Allen (Will Ferrell). Terry is best-remembered for accidently shooting New York Yankee Derek Jeter in the leg and Allen is the somewhat nerdy type who wants to focus on auditing criminals, not pursuing them. It so happens, however, that Allen stumbles across a multi-billion dollar scheme involving shady businessman David Ershon (Steve Coogan). Will Terry and Allen get their man or will they sink when it’s time to swim? And how does Terry manage to attract such beautiful women? All these questions and more are answered in “The Other Guys.”
I remember talking to my brother this summer who told me that he’d seen this movie and said it “was the funniest movie I’ve ever seen.” Having viewed the movie I don’t know if I quite concur with my sibling, but I can say that I did laugh out loud several times and Will Ferrell has some quality that nearly brings me to tears (of laughter). Obviously the draw here is the pairing of Ferrell with “tough guy” dramatic actor Mark Wahlberg and it does work. On one hand, yes, this is a “buddy cop” movie, but it’s so well disguised that we don’t really associate it with “Bad Boys” or the “Lethal Weapon” movies. Director Adam McKay has assembled a top notch ensemble cast that does its job well and while the focus is on Ferrell and Wahlberg, there’s no denying that the supporting cast does their job here. While I’m not certain that this will be everyone’s cup of tea, it provided me with a couple hours of amusement and that’s the point, right?
Video: How does it look?
The 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer for “The Other Guys” is just about what we’d expect from a big budget summer movie finding its way to Blu-ray (just in time for Christmas). Colors are bold and strong, fine detail is amazing and we can see every pore on Will Ferrell’s face. Some of the movie seems to have a bit of a “burn out” effect to it, but I don’t think it’s a fault of the transfer. Black levels are on the mark and the contrast is consistent with a new to Blu-ray movie. While this is lacking in a few areas, you’d never notice it to look at it so “The Other Guys” does its job and does it well on Blu-ray.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is a little more robust that I first thought. Yes, this is technically a comedy and comedies aren’t usually known for their soundtracks, but this one does deliver. There are plenty of gunshots, explosions and car chases (consistent with that of a “cop” movie) and they all sound much better than expected. I was impressed at the LFE as well, they chime in to shake the room and leave the surrounds to provide the ambiance. All in all it’s a very robust soundtrack that took me by surprise.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There are a few versions of “The Other Guys” out there, this was the two disc Blu-ray reviewed here with the second disc being a digital copy of the film for your mobile or portable device. First off, this is the Unrated edition, though you can also watch the Theatrical cut as well. There aren’t a whole lot of differences here, mainly a choice word or two being “added” to the Unrated version. We start off with some 30 minutes of deleted scenes, some are hit and miss but they’re there if you want them. Next up is Sony’s “Line-O-Rama” which has appeared on a few other titles, this time we get a chat with Adam McKay with some unaired footage with the improvisational variances in some of the scenes in the movie. We get a gag reel and a “Flash Forward” as seen through the eyes of the extras (and not the stars). We then get to the Featurettes starting off with “Crash and Burn!” which takes a look at the film’s serious undertone, while at the same time attempting to be a comedy. “Wasn’t That???” gives us a look at some of the cameos in the film like Derek Jeter, Tracey Morgan and so forth (yep, they’re all there). We then move onto “Why ar there Brits in this Movie?” which is more of a focus on Steve Coogan and the accent, Britain in general and some humdrum about Coogan. One of the funniest actors I’ve ever seen, Rob Riggle, has a few minutes in “Rob Riggle Likes to Party” as he tells us his idea of a good time. His few minutes in “Step Brothers” alone, makes it worth seeing. “Bed Bath and Way Beyond” has some outtakes and we see actor Michael Keaton (whose character pulled double duty as Captain of the NYPD as well as manager of a Bed, Bath and Beyond) and the less said the better. “Extreme Close Up” is a five minute featurette that delivers as promised: interviews that are uncomfortably too close. “Mark Wahlberg’s Eating Contest Entourage” shows us an extreme eater and again, the less seen the better. The most interesting feature is the Mom-mentary. Yes, the commentary track is done by the mothers of Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Will Ferrell. We don’t really get a lot of insight into the movie and yes, the track lasts the duration of the film. Now that’s a new one. We get a fake television spot about the fictional company, Lendal (hint: they’re into everything)! There’s a music video “Pimps Don’t Cry” with Ferrell’s wife, Eva Mendes and Cee-Lo Green. Lastly, the disc is enhanced with Sony’s MovieIQ which gives us some interesting tidbits and facts throughout.