Throwback : The Other Guys

Comedy is always subjective to the individual watching, so you can never really have a movie that is almost universally hilarious to everyone. For me though, The Other Guys, featuring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg has to be one of the wittiest comedies around!

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Right off the bat, the film starts off at 100%, with the high octane pursuits & action of Officers Highland & Danson, the wonderfully arrogant duo played by Samuel L Jack & Dwayne Johnson. They are the pride & joy of the department, solving crimes, winning accolades, getting all the money & women! But after their confidence gets the best of them (“Aim for the bushes”), the force is left with vast gap in their task-force. The perfect chance for some other guys to fill in that Alpha position. The other guys in this case, being disgraced cop Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), who craves to get back into the big time after being demoted following a mishap, and his desk happy accountant partner, Gamble (Will Ferrell).


What make the film so amusing is the interactions between our two heroes. Most successful buddy cop movies require the partners to clash, be polar opposites, and it’s done perfectly here. Mark Wahlberg absolutely nails it as the constantly angry and frustrated cop, who would rather be out in the field, than stuck behind a computer. Gamble on the other hand, is more than happy to do paperwork and excel sheets, and as you can imagine, this does not go well his agitated colleague!

Some of the exchanges they have are comic genius! The ‘Lion v Tuna’ (“If I was a Lion, and you were a tuna, I would go outside my food chain to eat you!”) argument that they have will you in stitches, and of course, it ends with hot coffee being thrown, as Gamble systematically dismantles a frankly ridiculous argument of how a tuna would beat a lion in a fight! The general disdain Hoitz has for Gamble is plain to see, such as when he nonchalantly throws a gift out the car window, or his random insults like “The sound off your piss hitting the urinal……it sounds feminine!”


The supporting cast are also on form! Eva Mendes plays the role of Gamble’s surprisingly attractive wife, to the hilarious dismay of the jealous Hoitz. Not only is Gamble oblivious to the fact someone as uninteresting & dull as himself, has ended up with a stunning wife, but he also talks down to her constantly, making Marky Mark even more annoyed at the situation!

Micheal Keaton shines as the dreary precinct captain, having to hold down 2 jobs to make ends meet, his character is constantly dropping in TLC lyrics mid convo, to the amusement of the audience. The silent fight during the funeral is another gem of a scene, where out duo end up in a fist fight with a rival pair of cops, also aiming to take over as the other guys! The scene is just so stupid, but seems to work so well!! The cops even pause mid fight, as some grieving mourners walk past!


Steve Coogan features as the cowardly millionaire, who is clearly up to no good. The scene where he is consistently distracting our heroes with bribes is great, and eventually, no amount of free mineral water with cucumber can put our cops off the trial!!

The film simply has several moments that will stick to anyone who enjoys this movie. There’s the whole ‘GATOR!!!’ revelation, Gamble’s crazy hot Ex, the Toyota Pruis constantly getting roasted, the ‘desk-pop’ among other things!

The plot isn’t the most memorable or unique, cops who no one trusts or respects end up uncovering a hidden scam, end up the heroes. But it’s the presence of our two protagonists that make this such rollicking fun!

TBT : Tropic Thunder!

If you think of 2008 & Robert Downey Jr. your first though may be Ironman, which saw the stock of the star rocket into the stratosphere! But there was another film he starred in that year, the ensemble comedy Tropic Thunder.

Tropic Thunder is personally one of my favorite comedy films, and it’s a film I can happily watch over and over again! The film packs in numerous A-Listers, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Tom Cruise & Matthew McConaughey and produce a hilarious satire of  Hollywood.


So whats it all about? Tropic Thunder is the story of a group of actors, who are thrown together into the jungle of South East Asia to film an adaptation of the story of a Vietnam veteran. Tugg Speedmen (Stiller), our lead star, is the washed up 80s action hero. Kirk Lazarus (Downey Jr.) is the ultra intense method actor. Jeff Portnoy (Black) is the type cast comedian, who is forever associated with his toilet humour. You also have the fresh faced new actor, who none of the experienced actors take seriously, and the rapper looking to crossover into films for that extra income.


What the film does well is how it portrays how ridiculous Hollywood can be. How some actors will go so far into character, that it’s borderline ludicrous. Which was the point of making Downey Jrs. character undergo skin pigmentation therapy to portray an African American. He even says ” I don’t drop character ’til I’ve done the DVD commentary”, just to hammer home the point! The film also makes a point on how hard it can be for a director to control highly strung actors with their diva like behavior! Or how actors will take part in cheap PR opportunities to appeal to fans .


One surprise in the film, was the appearence of Tom Cruise as Les Grossman. The arrogant, overtly crude, and on one crazy power trip,  big shot Producer! The fact many didn’t even notice him until the end credits made the cameo even better! His expletive exchanges over the phone are by far some of the most memorable scenes his filmed! Full credit to him for trying a role which is so out of his norm, and totally nailing it!!

The movie is full of quotes that made you laugh out loud!

” I don’t read the script. The script reads me.”

”I know who I am! I’m a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude!”

”And we’ll weep for him… in the press, set up a scholarship in his name, eventually – and I’m talkin’ way, way down the road – we file an insurance claim.”

Sure there are a few more quotes, which are more explicit, so I wont share them here 😛

The film has small touches that gives it a lot of charm, such as the spoof trailers of the in film stars playing before the start of the film. Their so well done, for a moment you believe that the trailers are real!

So if you’re a fan of Ben Stiller, and the kind of humour his films usually deliver, then I would most definitely recommend you dig it up from the archives and give it a watch! You’ll love it! 😀



A Look Back @ Collateral

It’s Thursday, which means time for a throwback! So let’s go back into the archives for one of my favourite films from the vault.

Collateral will always stand out to be as the first DVD that I purchased, way back in 2004! I ended up buying it on a hunch, I hadn’t watched it before, the films box art was very slick, the plot sounded intriguing, plus it had Tom Cruise, so worth a punt! Needless to say, it was a great pick, and to this day, still stands out as one of my all-time favourite movies!


So the film revolves around the story of Max (Jamie Foxx), a cab driver in LA, who yearns to give up his life as a cabbie, and one day, run his own private limousine firm. One unfortunate night, Max picks up a dangerous passenger, a mysterious man named Vincent (Tom Cruise), who reveals himself as a contracted hit-man. Our cab driver is taken hostage, and forced into driving our assassin around the city as Vincent goes through his list of targets.

Max: I can’t drive you around while you’re killing folks. It ain’t my job!

Vincent: Tonight it is.

The film simply oozes style. The presentation is very well polished, director Micheal Mann portrays late night LA as a wonderfully noir setting. The film has a good habit of cutting away to the late night shots of the as transition points. The bright lights provide a serene backdrop to an urgent situation. The majority of the first half takes place in the cab, and we focus on the dialect and interactions between our two characters. The verbal exchanges between the two are just as good as the action. It’s a game of cat and mouse, one trying to get the upper hand on the other. Even though Vincent is a violent person, you can see him develop some respect for Max, and his way of life. Vincent could easily kill Max if he wanted, but the two develop a compelling bond, which is displayed when they have to visit Max’s mother at hospital. The chemistry between the two is so good; they almost stand out more than the action.

If I recall, this was one of the first roles in which Cruise played a straight out villain, so that was a big discussion point in the build up to the film’s release. Vincent is truly a great character, not only does he look the part, but he is convincing as a cold hearted mercenary. The film is not overtly violent, so the times it does get intense, are remarkable. The scenes where Vincent is required to show his ‘professionalism’ are memorable, especially the situation involving his briefcase! The film makes use of real gunshot effects, and you can tell. It just adds that extra layer of realism to the movie.

The set piece of the film is the unforgettable shoot out at Club Fever. If you’ve watched John Wick, this scene will look very familiar. This was the original though, and simply cannot be beat. The entire situation is captured magnificently, the action is thrilling, the tension is palpable, and the music just caps it off, “Ready,Steady,Go” is the perfect song, and it’s now synonymous with this movie! Even if you don’t have the time to watch the entire film, I would highly recommend you find this scene on YouTube!

Max: You killed him?

Vincent: No, I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him.

Jada Pinkett Smith plays the attorney Max meets the same night as Vincent, plays an important part in the mission that our hit man has been sent on. Mark Ruffalo is huge now, but he had one of his earlier roles here! Taking on the role of the detective, who is on the trail of Vincent’s growing body count. Javier Bardem also features, as a wiley mob boss. There is also a cameo from none other than Jason Statham (with hair!)! Keep your eyes open during the opening moments when Vincent lands at LAX!

One other thing to mention, is the excellent soundtrack, the music encapsulates the vibe of the film, reflecting the night life of the city perfectly. The director was spot on with the choice of music used here, and that only helps make the film even greater!

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