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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Other Guys

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Veteran comedian Will Ferrell and comedy newcomer Mark Wahlberg play an ill-matched pair of crime-busters in "The Other Guys" (Columbia), an occasionally amusing but excessively vulgar action satire that handcuffs its talented cast with relentlessly foul-mouthed dialogue and tiresome bedroom jokes.

Ferrell is New York Police Department Detective Allen Gamble, a paperwork-loving forensic accountant whose idea of a fulfilling workday involves tracking down construction permit violations from the safety of the squad room.

Observing him disdainfully from the next desk is his frustrated perforce partner Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg). A former street cop unwillingly office-bound after making a high-profile mistake, Terry longs to get out of the precinct house and bring the bad guys to their knees, and he seldom passes up the chance to put quirky, soft-spoken Allen in his place.

A surprising opportunity to make a major bust arises, however, when Allen's numbers crunching and detail sifting suggest that famed British-born banker David Ershon (Steve Coogan) has been engaged in massive financial shenanigans.

To his credit, director and co-writer (with Chris Henchy) Adam McKay—Ferrell's longtime collaborator—handles the predictable series of car chases, explosions and gunfights that follow with restraint. Though the bullets fly by the hundreds, blood goes unspilled, and only one character meets a somewhat jarring end.

No such reserve is shown, though, when it comes to including edgy sexually themed material in this parody of genre conventions. Thus, when Allen's wife Sheila (Eva Mendes) turns out to be unexpectedly attractive, Terry openly lusts after her to supposedly humorous effect.

Equally misguided is a scene in which, with Allen in hiding, Sheila's elderly mother serves as a go-between for the spouses, carrying back and forth distastefully detailed messages about the outlandish lovemaking activities they yearn to be engaged in with each other.

The film contains considerable, though bloodless, action violence; much sexual humor; a couple of uses of profanity; and pervasive crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.


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Our Lady of Sorrows: For a while there were two feasts in honor of the Sorrowful Mother: one going back to the 15th century, the other to the 17th century. For a while both were celebrated by the universal Church: one on the Friday before Palm Sunday, the other in September. 
<p>The principal biblical references to Mary's sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27. The Lucan passage is Simeon's prediction about a sword piercing Mary's soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus' words to Mary and to the beloved disciple. </p><p>Many early Church writers interpret the sword as Mary's sorrows, especially as she saw Jesus die on the cross. Thus, the two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment. </p><p>St. Ambrose (December7) in particular sees Mary as a sorrowful yet powerful figure at the cross. Mary stood fearlessly at the cross while others fled. Mary looked on her Son's wounds with pity, but saw in them the salvation of the world. As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary did not fear to be killed but offered herself to her persecutors.</p> American Catholic Blog For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love’s second name. —Blessed John Paul II

 
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