I saw The Other Guys over the weekend, and though it was mostly just your standard, reasonably funny Will Ferrell/Adam McKay flick, the part we ended up discussing most after it was over was the closing credit sequence. Conveniently, that sequence is now online courtesy of
‘The Other Guys’ is a parody of old-school buddy-cop movies like the ‘Lethal Weapon’ films, but director/co-writer Adam McKay wanted to give it a realistically grandiose and relevant villain, which is the reason he turned to Wall Street. “All those old movies had drug-smuggling story lines — if you did that now, it would be quaint,” McKay told Entertainment Weekly earlier this summer. “Who gives a s— about guys selling drugs at this point? Crime has taken on massive proportions: destroying the Gulf of Mexico, stealing $80 billion. Stealing a billion dollars is nothing now — that’s almost adorable.”
Buried in the comedy is a serious point about what really constitutes grand theft these days, a point illustrated over the closing credits by a PowerPoint-like presentation full of jazzy infographics and serious statistics outlining just how much Wall Street and corporate leaders have enriched themselves at the expense of American workers and taxpayers. (All this while Rage Against the Machine cover Bob Dylan’s anti-corporate anthem ‘Maggie’s Farm’ on the soundtrack.) Even for moviegoers who are connoisseurs of end-credit sequences, this one stands out as unique.
I like the end-credit sequence on its own, but my first impression when I saw it was “Wow, this is reeeeally out of place.” When they say the serious point is buried in the comedy, they mean really buried. The Ponzi-scheme plot never fully came together during the movie, and seemed more like a torn-from-the-headlines premise that was kind of a take-off of cop shows like Law & Order or CSI, just like the rest of the movie was a tongue-in-cheek take-off of mainstream cop stuff. Which was fine, it was just a skeleton around which to build Will Ferrell improv jokes about Tunas fighting lions and astronaut food and I accepted it as such. If they wanted to make a movie with a serious point, they could have, but it seemed like they didn’t. The only serious-point part was the end-credits sequence itself, which just makes it feel like a separate entity.
Anyway, sorry for the semi-serious interlude here, it just seemed like a lot of you had seen the film, and that you might want to discuss some of its finer points like gentlemen. Which is why I put this ascot and top hat on a kitty.