I rarely wake up angry, but I did today. That’s because I was subjected to Adam Mckay’s piece-of-garbage film, “The Other Guys,” last night. Despite McKay’s self-righteous limousine-liberal politics, I tend to love his movies. In fact, “Step Brothers” is one of my favorite comedies of the past five years and has a chance to make it’s way into my top 10 favorite comedies of all-time. However, though I haven’t yet paid my friend back for the movie ticket he so graciously bought for me (thanks Ryan), McKay robbed me of money and time last night. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with my fellow NRB contributer Chris Yogerst on this one – while “The Other Guys” delivered several laughs in the first half of the film, everything after the halfway point left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
I was really excited to see this movie – despite some of the clunkers Will Ferrell has made in recent years (I dare you to sit through back-to-back-to-back showings of “Semi-Pro,” “Land of The Lost,” and “Bewitched” and not succumb to self-mutilation), I can’t help myself but enjoy most of his movies, and through the first hour of “The Other Guys,” I wasn’t disappointed. The opening over-the-top action sequence with The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson was hilarious and entertaining, and some of the initial exchanges between Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg were classic, particularly Ferrell’s long-winded response to Wahlberg’s insult involving a lion and a tuna. Throughout the first act and most of the second, I’d say I laughed out loud every four of five minutes, pretty much on par with what I had expected.
But then something happened. The plot of the movie fell off a damn cliff and took the clever dialogue with it. Really, Adam? The best climax you could come up with is having our heroes stop a freaking wire transfer? The sloppily directed shaky-cam action scenes and tiresome dialogue made the last hour of the movie feel like five. It seemed pretty clear to me that McKay wrote about five or six hilarious jokes and then decided to mail the rest of the movie in, enclosed with an anti-capitalist agenda. Okay, I get why we are supposed to hate the fat cat Madoff-esque villain of the movie (although annoyingly McKay is sure to make us aware of this villain’s frienship with Dubya), but attempting to get us to sympathize with the Policeman’s union and their bloated public pensions? Although I certainly have respect for our servicemen putting their lives on the line, I had a hard time feeling for this particular police department, especially with the absurd amount of money they wasted early on in the movie in the form of property damage and fancy vintage muscle cars.
I was watching the film with a pretty raucous crowd, and I heard nary a giggle throughout the entire third act. As the movie sputtered to a close, I felt a sense of relief, and not just because I was excited to run to the restroom after drinking too much water in the first 30 minutes. As I hurried out of the theater, I glanced back at the screen to check out the credit sequence, and I felt like I had been cold-cocked in the face by McKay’s soapbox. I won’t go into it in too much detail (you can watch the whole sequence here in John Nolte’s excellent review), but it was essentially a graphic presentation about ponzi schemes, salary inequalities, and the like that I’d expect to see in a Michael Moore film. We’re somehow supposed to be offended by the average CEO to employee pay ratio and NOT think about McKay’s salary vs. a PA’s on this movie? Yeah right.
If Mckay is so concerned with the unequal distribution of wealth, why doesn’t he donate a large portion of his bloated salary to all the PA’s, lighting guys, line producers, and other crew members who worked so hard to make this movie possible? And while he’s at it, he can send me a check for $13.00.