September 27, 2009

Will Ferrell Comeback?

Last week on the MTV News segment Movie News, we talked about Will Ferrell's new project The Other Guys. We speculated this this might be the 'comeback' vehicle for Ferrell. Ferrell seems to have fallen into a rut. He keeps working with the same, comfortable creative team, and the results are essentially the same movies, slightly re-packaged. How many variations on the painfully dimwitted guy with a massive ego can he play? What's the difference between Ron Burgundy and Ricky Bobby? For that matter, Jackie Moon from the woeful Semi-Pro is an awful lot like Blades of Glory's Chazz Michael Michaels. Enough is enough, Ferrell is way too talented to go down like this. This is Frank the Tank we're talking about!

Ferrel's new flick sees him playing a New York cop with Mark Wahlberg as his partner.
However, they're stuck on desk duty while the guys at the next desk over, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson are the glory boys of the NYPD. This set up has Ferrell playing the beat down, downtrodden character (like Old School's Frank the Tank) instead of the blustery ego maniac. The movie is co-written and directed by Adam McKay, a long time Ferrell collaborator who brought us Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, as well as the popular Funny or Die video "The Landlord." (McKay appears in the beginning of the video and his daughter, Pearl, plays the landlord.) The Other Guys, while still a comedy, will be a departure as McKay vows that this film will be more "reality based" and have less of the absurd, surreal tone of his earlier pictures. (Let's not forget their was a gory, over the top battle sequence that saw people losing their limbs in the middle of Anchorman.) Now I don't want to spoil this for anybody, but I think Ferrell and Wahlberg might get thrust into some big case, where they will appear to be way over their heads, but in the end, they'll rally, dig deep, solve the case and step out of the shadow of their co-workers.

While I can't say I'm a fan of McKay, I'm willing to give him a chance to grow as a story teller, and I love the casting of this movie. I think Wahlberg cast opposite Ferrell has the potential for some great comedic chemistry, and Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock should make a pretty solid pair themselves. Also in the cast are Michael Keaton (who I'm a huge fan of) and the beautiful Eva Mendes. Playing the "villain" is the hilarious Steve Coogan.
Over at /Film they've posted the first pics from the New York set of the film, (two of which i've posted here) and I already got a good laugh out of them. Take a look at the pic of Wahlberg and Ferrell standing on the street. Notice Wahlberg's shirt? Bayside Pride with the Bayside Tiger? Nothing says tough street cop like a Saved By the Bell throw back shirt.

Ferrell needs a solid comeback picture, I hope this is it.

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