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Will Ferrell’s “The Other Guys” Opens Today, Can We Expect the Usual Bush Derangement Syndrome?

Posted on August 6 2010 2:00 pm

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Ferrell as President Bush

So you’re watching a funny film and you’re thinking to yourself, “Why aren’t there more great comedies like this?” Then All of a sudden there is an unwanted “Bush is stupid” joke that no one asked for. You just went from amused to not being able to wait to tell your friends that there is yet another Hollywood film that is unable to curb unnecessary politics for 100 minutes.

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, two of the comedic powerhouses of the last decade; have made some great films that have been tarnished by unnecessary political editorializing. The opening of McKay’s Step Brothers took a cheap shot at then-President George W. Bush (who Ferrell often mocks). Also, Anchorman told us Brick (played by Steve Carell), who was the most idiotic character in the film, took a job in the Bush administration. Ferrell even starred in the Bush hit piece, You’re Welcome America, pushed hard by HBO.

Although we know Ferrell and McKay are leftists, they are fully capable of bringing us good material without the annoying, childish slant. Today Ferrell and McKay’s new film, The Other Guys, opens and word on the street is that McKay has upped his game in the form of blatant liberal preaching. Conservative film critic Kyle Smith asserts that the politics ultimately ruin an otherwise funny film:

Now Ferrell and his writing partner/director Adam McKay think they have a really important message about capitalism. It’s so important that it interrupts, then takes over, then finally kills their (otherwise often very funny) new movie, “The Other Guys.” The movie is being sold as (like “Hot Fuzz”) a mock-cop epic, and it is. Or it was, at some stage of the process. But Ferrell and McKay introduce an investment banker (Steve Coogan) who represents Evil Capitalism and is even shown shaking hands with George W. Bush (whom Ferrell has said he would refuse to meet with, on principle).

Certainly comedies have worked with politics in the past, but most of those films are exceptions. What makes something like The Hangover great is that it provides a fun experience for people of all political persuasions and allows everyone a chance to sit back and laugh together. Comedy is the best way to release the tensions we encounter in our lives, but throwing political cheap shots into otherwise apolitical films (even when it’s minimal) is disappointing.

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