August 12, 2010

"The Other Guys"

Despite both a forgettable title and the fifteen years in which Will Ferrell and writer-director Adam McKay have been beating their brand of comedy into the ground since they first teamed up at Saturday Night Live, The Other Guys is an implausibly funny movie....

This buddy cop spoof begins with the triumphant exploits of the NYPD’s coolest cops. In cameos played by Samuel L. Jackson, as the same character he’s done since Pulp Fiction, and Dwayne Johnson, the genial half-Samoan, half-black ex-pro wrestler formerly known as The Rock, the two supercops wreak $12 million in property damage to Manhattan while arresting a smalltime weed dealer. Then Jackson and Johnson take a victory lap around the police station, tossing their unfilled-out paperwork to “The Other Guys,” the precinct’s most pathetic desk jockeys, played by Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, who become the movie’s main characters.

The Other Guys could have been more memorably entitled The White Guys. Much of comedy these days, especially funny TV commercials about doofus dads, gingerly deals with the paradox of a culture in which white guys have seemingly been dethroned from the top of the masculinity pyramid. Yet, the people who have the really good jobs making the movies, TV shows, and ads poking fun at white guys remain, overwhelmingly, white guys like McKay and Ferrell.

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it below.


Anonymous said...

Off Topic

Terrell Brown, 6'11'', almost 400 lbs, player for Ole Miss. Candidate for human biodiversity hall of fame?

Anonymous said...


Film tropes aren't reality. Our "culture" isn't a collection of stock characters - it's real people.

Harry Baldwin said...

As Steve suggests, Hollywood can't always deliver the left-wing message it intends to because storytelling dynamics get in the way. For example, most anti-war movies still have to show guys shooting cool weaponry, being brave, killing enemies, and having life-changing experiences, which is what makes war glamorous, so that they end up being pro-war in spite of themselves. Kubrick's anti-war "Full-Metal Jacket" featured R. Lee Ermey, the ultra-alpha every guy wishes he could be. Even "Apocalypse Now" has exciting fire fights and charismatic characters like Robert Duvall's Colonel Kilgore. A lot of people who saw "Wall Street" saw Gordon Gecko as a role model, not a villain. "High Noon" was supposed to be about McCarthyism, but to most people it's about having some guts and shooting bad guys.

Like Orwell said, you're never going to get kids to play with little tin pacifists.

The way in which Hollywood has most energetically pursued a leftist agenda is in portraying blacks in unlikely roles such as top surgeons, computer experts, incorruptible politicians, etc. If it weren't for Morgan Freedman, Denzel Washington, and that guy who does the Allstate Insurance ads, Barack Obama never would have seemed like a credible presidential candidate.

Anonymous said...

that guy who does the Allstate Insurance ads

He played Jonas Blane, on The Unit, which used to come on Tuesday nights at 9PM, after NCIS at 8PM.

Anonymous said...

I'll check this movie out based on Steve's review. It sounds like it has comic potential.

For Steve the movie reviewer:

See "Salt". View it as a parody of an action movie, and you will have one of the most fufilling comedic experiences of your life. You will also see much of what Whiskey has written about Hollywood lying to the sexes brought to surround-sound-flickering-reality. The most beta male in the history of the universe wins the love of Angelina Jolie, a 120 lb. woman who can three-times leap off moving trucks on interstate overpasses to lower overpasses located beneath her present truck without breaking a rib, shoulder, or even really messing her hair up. You'll also learn that she can kill CIA/KGB agents by the dozen with her bare hands in less than three seconds each. The most suprising revelation of the movie however is that our CIA is at least half-black, populated by photogenic black men and women in their early 30's......

I took a friend who was visiting from out-of-town to this howler and paid for it. I thought it would be good (it got 3 stars), and yearned for an old-fashioned Cold-War-esque yarn. He's gonna rib me about this movie for the rest of our lives, even though he did enjoy laughing at if for over a full hour.

Lying to young women by telling them that young men want a woman who can kick their ass is misleading. The movie was written by some schmuck named Wimmer, who isn't qualified to write a children's book.

Whiskey said...

Other reviews have had the movie not funny at all. Ferrell is definitely not my taste, I've never found him the slightest bit funny, in contrast to Vince Vaughan's perfect timing, or the guys in Eurotrip ("Are the Girls Coming Back?") or even at times, Ben Stiller.

To me, Ferrell lacks the timing, and the concepts of his characters cannot make up for it. A lot of Mel Brooks humor is cornball, but the concepts work. That scene in "High Anxiety" where he parodies "the Birds" is hilarious. The South Park guys use conceptual humor (its pretty much a formula, celebrity idiocy + average person fad = monumental social stupidity) that get them over the timing/performance humps in animation.

The reviews I read said the wind-up to the movie takes you out of the funny and into an angry, Hard Left Rich Artist diatribe. Its hard to take seriously an uber-rich guy plumping for Castro Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

That white serial killer who has stabbed 13 black men has been caught Steve,

He was going to fly back to Israel. He was apprehended at the Atlanta. He seems Islamic, but wtf? Mossad contract work? Apparently has something against black-Americans, but could leave at any time? Doesn't compute to me....

**This isn't a comment**, but I hope you get to read this quick before its "memory-holed", just like those three jewish boys who burnt down 9 southern black churches all those years ago with military grade equipment, claiming they were "drunk" each time. They were sentenced in a court of law, but the story dissapeared.

The truth about that story here:

OneSTDV said...

In previews I didn't realize Walhberg was supposed to be a milquetoast doofus.

He always plays extreme alpha characters as in The Departed.

Tanstaafl said...

If it weren't for Morgan Freedman, Denzel Washington, and that guy who does the Allstate Insurance ads, Barack Obama never would have seemed like a credible presidential candidate.

Indubitably. Say, who did that casting?

And beside the fantasy/fiction, here's some reality:

OBAMA AND THE JEWS: A look at why some Jews love him and some don't trust him; and at the key role Chicago Jews played in getting him to where he is - Chicago Jewish News

Barack Obama: The first Jewish president? - Chicago Tribune

TGGP said...

Your thesis that white guys are still on top could also have been written by a Tim Wise-esque commenter on white privilege. Also, Eddie Murphy really HAS become less funny and appears in worse material.

In "We Own the Night" Wahlberg starts out by playing the "good son" who went into the family business of policing. The crooks decide to strike back at the police by shooting him in the face and burning his car as he comes home with groceries, and while he recovers he is no longer up for the dangers of the old job and decides he prefers a desk (while his irresponsible younger brother grows up to take his place with the police). An interesting bit of character development, I thought.

TGGP said...

Also, the lion vs tuna joke was done before by that lefty actor married to Susan Sarandon. On some late-night talk-show he said that he predicts victories in baseball by the team names. And a mariner can obviously beat a cub, because what's a cub doing way out there?

Truth said...

"Kubrick's anti-war "Full-Metal Jacket" featured R. Lee Ermey, the ultra-alpha every guy wishes he could be..."

You want to be R. Lee Ermey?

Anonymous said...

"Kubrick's anti-war "Full-Metal Jacket" featured R. Lee Ermey, the ultra-alpha every guy wishes he could be."

I dunno. It's a great role, and Ermey plays it brilliantly. He definitely has a lot of hilariously effective and macho insults and one-liners, and a dominating personality. But that drill instructor always struck me as a creepy sadist, not some kind of model of masculinity.

Also, he doesn't notice that one of his recruits his going insane, and is unable, at the crucial moment, to use the force of his personality to convince that recruit to put down his rifle. No true alpha male wants to get shot dead in a communal toilet by a crazy fat man.

In general it's best not to emulate Kubrick's male characters--they tend to be pedophiles, alcoholic axe murderers, evil computers, mad scientists, Ryan O'Neal, etc. Kubrick's style actually fits quite well with Full Metal Jacket's message, which is that war is an exercise in dehumanizing butchery, and that the men who engage in it tend to be emotionally dead, crazy, or both.

Anonymous said...

A little research would show that it is unlikely that any of the three AL arsonists are Jewish. The links that poster provided leads to strange places.

Anonymous said...

Watched on your recommendation ans wow does this movie ever suck. Not even funny by Will Ferrell standards.

Polichinello said...

In general it's best not to emulate Kubrick's male character...

Kirk Douglas' characters in Paths of Glory and Spartacus being the exceptions to this rule.

JWO said...

This reminds me that m father, who work a lot with the police, used to say that "Barney Miller" was the only realistic police show.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey claims that the other reviewers didn't find The Other Guys funny. Huh?

I don't understand people who publish misspelled words in a world filled with spelling checkers, or incorrect historical dates in a world with Wikipedia, or assertions about movie reviews in a world with Rotten Tomatoes.

This is the best reviewed comedy by Will Ferrell except for his Christmas movie Elf. It is also the director's best too.

I have no problem with Whiskey not caring for Ferrell. I'm not crazy about him either. But he has worn well. Schtick comedians like Bobcat Goldwaith or George Gobel don't last long.

The funniest guys in the movies are often the one's with the least comedic talent. Who could ever forget Steven Seagal's final speech in On Deadly Ground where he tells a crowd of Indians that the evil industrialists have denied to all of us automobiles that can run on water.


Svigor said...

Your thesis that white guys are still on top could also have been written by a Tim Wise-esque commenter on white privilege.

Truly? Tim Wise (or any other Caucasoid race-hustler) has actually made a stink about this? I'd like to see that.

I'd like to see anyone in the MSM dragging the MSM for its blatant hypocrisy.

I'm all for removing all the Caucasoids in the media (both sides of the camera) and print biz and replacing them with blacks.

Anonymous said...

an immutable truth: Steve Sailer loves LOW-iQ White-People.

BamaGirl said...

"I dunno. It's a great role, and Ermey plays it brilliantly. He definitely has a lot of hilariously effective and macho insults and one-liners, and a dominating personality. But that drill instructor always struck me as a creepy sadist, not some kind of model of masculinity."

Lol agreed with you. Its sort of bizarre that someone considers the drill instructor, out of all the characters in the movie, a model of masculinity that "every guy wishes he could be." Doubtin that. I would have figured boys would rather be "Animal Mother" or something haha.

Ex-Chump said...

The movie was written by some schmuck named Wimmer, who isn't qualified to write a children's book.

The protagonist in "Salt" was first written as a man, so screenwriter Kurt Wimmer may not be to blame for its delusional political correctness.

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"an immutable truth: Steve Sailer loves LOW-iQ White-People."

Steve has defined race as a partially inbred, extended family.
So of course he loves low-IQ White people -- because they're members of his family.

If you had a nephew born with Down Syndrome, would YOU despise him and treat him with contempt?

***As an aside, it's rather moronic to snark about others' low IQ in a post filled with grammatical errors.

Here, I'll correct the mistakes in your comment for you:

An immutable truth: Steve Sailer loves low-IQ White people.

You're welcome.

You wouldn't happen to be White, would you? If so, Steve will love you.

josh said...

Will Ferrell IS funny;his character is very narrowly defined,and some people just dont like large oafish morons! With the right material he can be hilarious. (His best work,tho,was the "cowbell" skit!"More cowbell!' cries Chris Walken!) This movies sounds pretty good.It mightve been better to have the alpha cops be white,and play a different type of racial politics,as they march thru the ghetto terrorizing bad guys and pumping informants,like Huggy Bear,for info.( I remember as a yute going to see a Matt Helm movie(?),and in one scene a middle-aged,and looking it, Dean Martin roughs up some large black thug,prompting a black guy in the audience to shout,"Onee in da movies!!") They couldve used a latino ghetto,and allowed the cops to do a different sort of "pumping",as a pretty(if not wise)latina is a much more credible sex object than the AA ghetto dweller. Movies about white men who lust for black women seem to die on the vine. OT but I wonder what Steve thought of "Eat,Pray,Vomit" or whatever its called? This is more up Roissy's alley,as it seems to confirm his view of women as soulless shreiking harpies. Roberts casually dumps her husband(how ironic it would be if the character was played by Roberts' "twin" Sandra Bullock! The ear shattering demonoid shreiking of the female massess at her husbands' infidelity contrasted with her characters' easy going spouse dumping would be interesting!)The sad thing is that this movie was based on a book,allegedly true,that stayed on the bestseller list for 120 weeks! My God! Even uber PC Roger Ebert could barely stomach this,right on the heels of his disgust at the gruesome SATC 2.

Whiskey said...

Wahlberg was in "Invicible" playing to type -- East Coast Blue Collar guy defined by athleticism.

Chevy Chase (to me far funnier than Ferrell and in some of the funniest movies in the 1980's) said that comedies have failed in the last 15 years or so because they lack on-set writers, to fix jokes that looked funny on paper but just don't work visually.

There's also a lack of skilled actresses. Madeline Kahn, Beverly D'Angelo, etc. did great support, often the Straight Man/Woman is the key to provide reactive structure to the joke-teller. A movie is not funny if everyone is wacky. Most of today's actresses are too worried about being sexy to be funny.

Yes Salt had "diversity quotas" with predictably the Black CIA guy being the good guy and the hot White guy being the bad guy.

Far worse than the message to young women is the message to young men. Who will actually believe that failing to be Alpha will still allow them to score.

not a hacker said...

Hey Josh, what was that movie where Dennis Hopper was talking to the latina prostitute and goes, "I like whores ... I REALLY like 'em."? I liked that movie.

Anonymous said...

Curvaceous Carbon-Based Life Form:

You wouldn't happen to be White, would you? If so, Steve will love you.

What if I'm a white axe-murderer? Or child molester?

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"What if I'm a white axe-murderer? Or child molester?"

ARE you?

Truth said...

"Movies about white men who lust for black women seem to die on the vine."

Yeah, who ever heard of "Monster's Ball" anyway?

Doug1 said...

Steve Sailer-

Your biggest, actually I'd say your only real blind spot is your lack of understanding of the damage that feminism has been wrecking upon white guys, especially gen Y or millenial white guys. This is partly done through feminism's influence in Hollywood and in TV. You're really, really off on these topics.

You need to read a lot more Roissy in DC, now renamed Citizen Renegade. Seriously you do. You don't get it. I'm probably about your age but I do. Partly because I've fairly recently dated young girls. And am now living with one relative to me.

The Kid said...

"Movies about white men who lust for black women seem to die on the vine."

Yeah, who ever heard of "Monster's Ball" anyway?

Monster's Ball seems to suffer from the "Brokeback Mountain" effect: Critics loved it but not so much the public. It's opening weekend was #168 for 2001 and all the media hype could only pull it upto #76 for 2001, 660 theaters.

In fact, it did worse than Brokeback Mountain (opening #148 in 2005 and #22 overall for 2005, 683 theaters). It did even worse than The Crying Game (opening #150 in 1992 and #20 overall for 1992, 735 theaters).

I suspect blacks, who disproportionally go to movies, despised the idea of Hally making it with a cracker (as was voiced by various black figures at the time).

This just goes to show that whites and even blacks would generally rather go see a woman surprise her boyfriend with her schlong or watch two Marborough Men frenching before blacks would tolerate the almost as far fetched story of Billy Bob Bad Santa Thorton boinking Halle Berry.

Anonymous said...

in order to understand why upper class white males must degrade their own kind, you have to look at americans, america and humans as ANIMALS in an ecosystem.

Culture is similar to programming in a computer. But culture is also an animal in an ecosystem.

I am making these analogies in order to help you understand.

Homo sapiens americans is an evolved organism that lives in the ecosystem called america. It's behavior is largely controlled by the american culture, pretty much the same as all other subspecies of homo sapiens, which are largely controlled by their own culture.

The culture of america is also similar to an organism, an animal. Like all animals in an ecosystem, it evolves over time, and that evolution is shaped by the forces in that ecosystem. Southern foxes have less fur than northern foxes because the cold weather up north is a force in the ecosytem that shapes the evolution of the northern fox over time.

The american culture is also shaped by forces over time. What are the dominant forces that shape any culture, esp. the american culture?

Well, forces can be analyzed and visually as force vectors. If you study the forces on a physical object, you can represent them as vectors. Gravity,etc. Also, corrosive forces, etc, all affect any object, depending on its environment.

What forces shape the american culture. People are the major force vector acting on our culture. Also media. The govt. etc.

Are some forces more powerful than others, and thus have more effect on this culture?

Yes, rich investors and corporations are the most powerful force vectors acting on this culture. And through what mechanisms are their forces effected and transmitted? Via the govt and media. And through schools.

Are the forces exerted by rich investors and by corporations exerted randomly or are they directed to further the interests of said powerful entities. Let us give a name to these powerful forces, which have strong interests in common, and who have interests OPPOSED to those of the majority of working class americans. Let us call this set of powerful entities CAPITAL.


Anonymous said...

Um, Kid, you might want to use a different example than Brokeback Mountain. A 14 million dollar indie film about a difficult subject that makes 83 million dollars at the domestic box office is a huge success by any accounting. I doubt even Whiskey could spin that into a failure.

As for movies with white guys lusting after a black woman, I give you...Star Trek! Having the willowy Zoe Saldana as the only non-green female lust object certainly didn't hurt it at the box office.

Anonymous said...

Brokeback Mountain and The Crying Game may be very shocking to those who don't live in a major city, but there's not much there for more sophisticated audiences.

I saw The Crying Game in a theater in San Francisco. When the big surprise scene was shown, no one was very surprised. It was obvious that Jaye Davidson was a guy. Most of the transexuals on the street outside were more convincing as women than he was.

Similarly when I lived near the Castro I saw public gay affection everyday, I didn't need to pay for a ticket to see more in Brokeback Mountain. Both of these movies did well with critics who had political agendas. Without their gay themes these films would hardly have been noticed. They just weren't particularly compeling films.

Finally Halle Berry is white not black. Or at least she looks white to me. She has a straight nose and straight hair. If she bleached her skin a little she could "pass" - in a way that Michelle Obama for example couldn't.

But fashions have changed. Being black is better box office. The problem is that most pure African women are not attractive to men of any race. Halle Berry solves that problem by appearing white except for her skin shade.

If you look at her as a white woman she seems pretty enough but unremarkably so. But as a black girl she really stands out. She is a rare beauty among the blacks.


Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Chevy Chase (to me far funnier than Ferrell and in some of the funniest movies in the 1980's)...."

Chevy Chase? You think he's funny? The only way I can imagine Chevy Chase being funny on screen would be if his character caught fire and burned, or fell under a bush-hog. His snarky doofus routine wore thin about half-way into his first SNL episode. He's also a castro-enamored, limousine-liberal douche-bag.

josh said...

Re Truth:I wasnt trying to insult black females. WM/BF movies dont connect w/anyone,it seems,unless theres a "hook" in it,like Mickey Rourke playing an uber goodlooking sleazy tough guy lusting for the(at the time)sexy Cosby girl.There was another one where the male was a dangerous criminal in love w/Cynda Williams,from Lee's Harlem Blues. But a "nice" WM falling for a "nice" BF is death. Denzel once said he avoided love scenes with white women(he was opp Julia Roberts in "The Pelican Brief";good call) because he didnt want to alienate white guys,upon whom his action movies depend. It seems to have worked. Finally,re Monsters Ball,according to the new book re Angelina Jolie,Billy Bob has an exceptional "Thornton". He would presumably have now worries,if involved w/a BF,about HBD comparisons!

FuturePundit said...


When you write a comment you can click on Name/URL and then enter your pseudonym.

Other Anonymi,

Choose a pseudonym. Are you afraid to be known by even a pseudonym?

It is hard to tell when there's a discussion between 2 or 3 commenters or whether one guy is arguing with himself.

Anonymous said...

semi-off-topic: Futurama bashes christian creationists

Anonymous said...

Ferrell is really funny but the funniest movie EVER is Natl Lampoon's Vacation mainly due to Chevy Chase - so watch it Mr. Anon.

"And when they ran ut of mud- they used sod" - may be the funniest line ever

Dan in Dc

Truth said...

"Re Truth:I wasnt trying to insult black females."

I wasn't insulted, I'm not a black female. My point is that you claim to work in sports SCIENCE so you should know that one should not make unsubstantiated, unsupported claims.

Monster's Ball made 44 million dollars (theatre only) on a budget of 12, that's a successful film.

The Score, with Bassett/ De Niro grossed 113m on a budget of 68m. (a movie has to just about double it's budget in box office to break even). It lost money, but was close enough to probably eke out a profit in auxiliaries (rentals, flight movies DVD sales, cable).

Guess Who; Kutcher/Saldana, budget 35m, IBO 102m; clear winner.

The Bodyguard; Costner/Houston, no budget given , IBO 410m; clear winner.

Corrina, Corrina; Goldberg/Liotta, no budget given, USBO 22m; loser.

The Rich Man's Wife;* Berry/Christopher McDonald(?!), no budget given, USBO 8m; loser.

Jumpin' Jack Flash; Goldberg/Lovitz(dobule?!) no budget given, USBO 25 million; loser.

Besieged; Newton/David Thewlis(?!), no budget given, USBO 2 million. loser.

Mission Impossible II; Cruise/Newton, budget 157 million, IBO 546m. Runaway Hit.

Jackie Brown; Grier/Foster(?!) Budget 12m, IBO 71m. Hit.

Made in America; Goldberg/Danson(TV actor), no budget given, IBO 104m in 1993, Moneymaker.

Boiler Room; Diesel/Long, budget 9m, IBO 28m. Moneymaker.

The 25th hour; Saldana/Norton 4.5m budget, 23m IBO, clear winner.

Star Trek; Saldana/Pine, budget 120m, IBO 385m, hit.

That list does not include straight to DVD movies and there are a few omitted explained down below. Final Tally

14 movies
9 profitable (incl. 3 international smashes)
4 losers
1 unclear

That is a roughly 67-77% success rate. There is not a movie studio in Hollywood that would not take those odds, seeing that about 80% of all movies lose money.

Of the 4 losers, two were starring a 50 year old woman (almost impossible for any movie to make money historically carried by a female lead over 40.)

Three had Christopher McDonald, John Lovitz and David Thewelis starring, two unknowns, one TV comedian who has done nothing on the big screen.

Movies not included; Dance with me Vanessa Williams, hispanic lead, loser, Romeo Must Die, Aliyah, Asian lead, hit.

So what say you?

John Walters said...

Other Anonymi,

Choose a pseudonym. Are you afraid to be known by even a pseudonym?

My comments frequently don't make it. I don't know if blogger destroys them or if Steve sees them and decides not to publish them.

However, I suspect Steve recognizes my name, and thinks to himself, "This guy never says anything worthwhile, I'll delete it without reading it."

Thus using Anon probably increases my chances to get my comment seen.

Harry Baldwin said...

Okay, I'll yield on "every guy wants to be R. Lee Ermey." I didn't think that through very carefully. I was not so much of his "Full Metal Jacket" role as the cool turn his life has taken, doing the "Mail Call" show where he gets to shoot watermelons with machine guns, voiceovers for "Toy Story," funny Geico ad, etc.

Still, in the anti-war FMJ the Ermey character is interesting and charismatic and the kind of DI you'd be talking about for the rest of your life, so in my opinion the boot-camp element of the film does not come across as a horrible experience (minus the last minute when Gomer shoots Ermey and then himself).

My wife and I saw "The Other Guys" tonight and thought it was very funny, though not quite as funny as "Stepbrothers." Mark Wahlberg is not a comic actor, so some scenes that would have been hilarious had John C. Reilly played them fell a bit flat.

Whiskey said...A lot of Mel Brooks humor is cornball, but the concepts work.

Until recently, I had not seen "Blazing Saddles" since it came out, at which time I thought it was hilarious. Watched it a few weeks ago and didn't laugh once. Didn't even crack a smile. Everything seemed so heavy-handed and obvious. A lot of comedy doesn't age well--think of all those 1950s comedies like "It's a Mad, Mad World."

I agree with anonymous that "Salt" kinda sucked. Nothing in the plot came as a surprise--I always felt like I was 15 minutes ahead of what was happening. Also, Angelina Jolie is no longer hot. Why is that not apparent to everyone? She looks like a strung-out junkie.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

.....the funniest movie EVER is Natl Lampoon's Vacation mainly due to Chevy Chase - so watch it Mr. Anon."

Saw it. Not funny. Chevy Chase is just an a**hole, and not even a funny one. Like I said, the only way he could be funny on film, is if he was viciously murdered.

The Other Guys Jacket said...

this other guys movie is simply superb iam the big fan of mark