I’m a fan of the films that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell have made together so far. “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers” are all deranged, and they also all have something in common besides the creative teams that made them: I didn’t like the trailers at all.
I think what McKay does is context-based comedy. A good example would be that dinner table sequence in “Talladega Nights” where Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) and his wife (Leslie Bibb) and his best friend Cal (John C. Reilly) sit around the dinner table with Ricky Bobby’s family, and things break down into a lecture on good parenting and a display of hyperactive hostility and a debate on which Jesus is the right Jesus to pray to. It’s a ludicrous, magnificent scene, and it really only works if you see the full thing, start to finish, so you can see how it evolves. There are great lines in the scene (“I”m gonna come at you like a spider monkey!”), but it’s the context that really puts it all together.
I say this to preface the release today of the trailer for “The Other Guys,” which is the new film that Adam McKay directed, and which stars Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell as a pair of mismatched detectives. We’ve been seeing buddy cop comedies for decades now, as far back as “Freebie and the Bean” and as recently as this spring’s “Cop Out.” It’s certainly not a new idea, but it’s one that can provide strong returns in the right hands.
I like the basic conceit here, that these two work in the same building as a pair of super cops (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson), and they’re forced to try to live up to the legend when they work a case. I dig that Michael Keaton’s in the film as their captain, and the Jackson/Johnson casting is pretty great. There are some really intriguing supporting faces in there, too, including Rob Riggle and Steve Coogan and Ray Stevenson. The nicest surprise, though, was the bit in the trailer involving Eva Mendes. I won’t ruin it for you… just go check out the trailer for yourself:
I’m curious to see this one. It’s not out until August 6, so it looks like a nice late-summer comedy treat, and I have every confidence that the film will work much better than the trailer because we’ll see the scenes play out in full instead of getting just a hint of this or that.
Still… good first peek. Bring it on.
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