Monday, February 21, 2011

Pimps Don't Cry Revisited | The Other Guys | 2010

From "If There Were An Oscar for Film Titles," New York Times, February 20, 2010: 
Even so, the winner of my unofficial “Best Film Titles” award is a film that wouldn’t otherwise be an Oscar contender: “The Other Guys,” an American comedy in which a giant financial fraud is foiled by pair of hapless detectives... the closing sequence is a stunning series of animations that deconstruct the details of Ponzi schemes, bank bailouts, bumper corporate bonuses and their impact on the global economy...  the sequence is smart, funny and thoughtful, if slightly at odds with Saul Bass’s vision of good title design — because it’s much, much better than the movie.
I wrote about end credits for The Other Guys back in January (suck it Grey Lady), and though I'm not sure I can agree that the end credits are better than the film, I definitely think they make the film better.  And not just because a little slice of stunning was tacked on at the end.  It's that the tone and quantity of the information in the end credits seems so incongruous to the film, that it begs a quick mental review of the previous 100 or so minutes. and that's when it becomes clear that The Other Guys aren't only underdog buffoons.  

Throughout the end credits, the Other Guys of the world are getting screwed by an increasingly oligarchical U.S., but that environment didn't keep the two detectives in the film from doing their job and fumbling their way to successful closure of a big case.  Their lives aren't diminished by their milieu.  And ours don't have to be either.

Not that the status-quo should be accepted, or allowed to progress without challenge.  It is beyond unfortunate that a Police Captain has to work a part-time job at Bed, Bath and Beyond in order to put his son through college.  But even if that continues to be the norm, there is still value in living an open, honest, sloppy, embarrassing and mistake ridden life.  The important thing is to just keep showing up and be the incorruptible constant.

"9:15!  Let's have a great day everybody!"