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Other Guys, The (Blu-ray Review)

29 Dec, 2010 By: John Latchem

Sony Pictures
Box Office $119.2 million
$28.96 DVD, $34.95 Blu-ray, $38.96 BD combo pack
Rated ‘PG-13’ for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material. Unrated version also available.
Stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Rob Riggle, Damon Wayans Jr., Ray Stevenson, Anne Heche.

The Other Guys works so well as an action-movie parody because the viewer is never quite sure which direction the film is going to take a joke.

Being the byproduct of a collaboration between Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay, whose previous efforts such as Anchorman and Talladega Nights were tremendous successes, one can expect a fair degree of over-the-top humor that isn’t afraid to strain credulity. But The Other Guys kicks it up a notch with an opening scene starring Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson as two hot-shot New York cops who always save the day, catch the bad guy and bed the girl.

But there are some cases even they can’t crack, opening the door for Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, who play the kinds of cops usually relegated to background duty. Ferrell is content sitting at his desk crunching numbers and filing paperwork, while Wahlberg is chomping at the bit for some action. But no one trusts him with any serious assignment, since during the World Series he accidentally shot Derek Jeter and cost the Yankees another title (“You should have shot A-Rod,” quips another cop).

The casting of Wahlberg for this film was an inspired choice, as putting his natural intensity to work for comedic effect pays off huge.

The film falters in its second half as Ferrell and Wahlberg set off to stop a greedy businessman (the hilarious Steve Coogan) from embezzling billions of dollars while being pursued by some hired thugs. It’s all typical action-movie stuff, turned sideways and given a kick. McKay’s anti-capitalist rant during the end credits is out of place, but easy enough to turn off by then. After all, the movie’s over.

The disc also includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film. What’s nice about the unrated cut is an option to display a marker that lets viewers know what’s different from the theatrical version.

The Blu-ray is absolutely loaded with great extras, some of which are as funny as anything in the movie. There are some great deleted and alternate scenes, an assortment of zany behind-the-scenes featurettes (one of which involves a friend of Wahlberg’s who will eat anything), a spoof of the invasiveness some DVD producers employ in gathering making-of material, and commentary featuring the mothers of the cast and crew.

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