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Ten Word or Less Review:  Will Farrell in something funny?  How?

Will Farrell is a funny man who specializes in making really unfunny movies.  As consistently hilarious as he is in short doses, when it comes to his movies, Farrell is more than a chore; he’s pure irritant to the ass.  For years now he has specialized in playing the same over-confident, man boy moron in movie after movie.  I hate this persona and have never liked watching Farrell doing it.  “Elf”, “Talledega Nights”, “Step Brothers”, “Anchorman” and all the others in this league?  Screw’em!  So imagine how absolutely freaking shocked I was to enjoy “The Other Guys.”  Probably because it’s a sharply written comedy in which Farrell takes his overused idiot personality and abandons it completely.

“The Other Guys” is the buddy cop parody that Kevin Smith’s “Cop Out” tried so poorly to be just a few months ago.  “Other” knows the beats and routines of these films and delightfully turns all of them on their head.  Partnered with Mark Wahlberg, another dubious movie presence, Farrell stars as an emotionally repressed, constantly upbeat cop accountant partnered with Wahlberg’s chronically pissed off hot head.  After the city’s two supercops get themselves killed, funny cameos by Dwayne Johnson and Sam Jackson, it falls on this mismatched pair to solve a big mystery.  A mystery that the movie wisely cares precious little about so that it just focus on humor.

The bulk of the movie is about this woefully paired duo and the reactions they bring out in one another.  The two have an argument about lions and tuna that feels like a classic in the making.  They find out that action heroes don’t just walk away from explosions and call foul on “Return of the Jedi” in the process.  Farrell has a line about tooth paste I laugh about every time I think about it.  Wahlberg holds his own against Farrell, drawing as many laughs with his overheated rage as Farrell gets with his unflappable amiability.  He’s as tricky an actor as Farrell in that he can be unequivocally terrible in any given film, but here he goes balls out with the role and it works.  “The Other Guys” keeps setting up one set piece after another for these two and the comedic stamina doesn’t wane, at least for a while.

Like a lot of movie comedy “The Other Guys” is too long by 15 minutes.  It would’ve been better served if it had adhered to a tried and true 90 minute runtime.  After its first hour it starts to play itself out. It never turns sour; it just starts to feel tepid.  It doesn’t find its rhythm again until its last 20 minutes or so.  It recovers nicely and bounces back with enthusiasm.

If Farrell abandons the old dipshit routine and tries on different material I’ll give him his due.  “The Other Guys” reminds us that he can be funny at something other than being stupid or George Bush.  One in the same I guess.  It’s a riotous movie that tries new angles, dares to be just a little different, and succeeds in the process.  Here’s hoping they don’t make a sequel.

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