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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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Sharbel Makhluf: Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely. 
<p>Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later. </p><p>Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly. </p><p>He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog You cannot claim to be ‘for Christ’ and espouse a political cause that implies callous indifference to the needs of millions of human beings and even cooperate in their destruction.

 
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