[The surprise movie this year at the Viennale.*]
Detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are the joke of their precinct. Gamble is an accountant at heart and Hoitz has a short fuse and unfortunately once shot a famous baseball player. By accident, they stumble into a big financial scandal though, helmed by the slippery investor Ershon (Steve Coogan).
I’m not a huge Ferrell fan. He just doesn’t really push my buttons. This didn’t change with this movie, either. Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable and is surely a fine treat for people who like Ferrell.
There were some brilliant moments in the film. The whole storyline revolving around Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson, for example. It was really disappointing that their roles were so small. And TLC-quoting Michael Keaton was great. I also loved the whole “lion/tuna” allegory thingy.
And the end credits, where the financial crisis and the bailouts etc were put into perspective with nice infographics was fun to watch. Generally, it was pretty much the first film to make not only a topic of the bailouts and the problems surrounding them, but to make the practices that led to it and the people behind it the villains of a cop movie. Which is pretty cool.
When I think about the film, there’s a lot that I liked. But the good parts were always only moments that were a break from the rest of the film. The general feeling of the film, at least for me, was lukewarm. Most of the jokes were only mildly amusing and the whole pimp-thing made me uncomfortable.
And I just don’t like the way Ferrell acts – it’s too much for me. [Though he doesn’t overact half as much as Mark Wahlberg in this film.] Too much screaming, too much non-sequitur, too nervous. Maybe I would have liked the film better if Ferrell hadn’t been in it.
Summarising: for Ferrell fans.
*I was really surprised that they chose this film, I have to admit. Not only will it see its Austrian release in two weeks anyway, Hurch, the organiser of the Viennale, keeps complaining that the people going to the Viennale always buy tickets to the same movies and that nobody takes risks anymore. Here was his perfect chance to surprise people with a movie that is not Hollywood, or at least not US-American. Well.