47 Great Movie Moments #35 – The Other Guys

And we continue with this series of 47 moments in film that I love. (Why 47?).  For #35, we continue looking at some of the great moments of comedy that I have enjoyed…

The Other Guys (2010)

Directed by:  Adam McKay

Mismatched police partners Allen Gamble and Terry Holtz must learn to work together to deal with a criminal conspiracy.

The Set-up

There is no love lost between between detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Holtz (Mark Wahlberg).  Holtz thinks that the bookish Gamble is holding him back, and at one point he feels he’s had enough, and lashes out against him.   “If we were in the wild,” he says, “I would attack you.  Even if you weren’t in my food chain, I would go out of my way to attack you.  If I were a lion and you were a tuna, I would swim out in the middle of the ocean and freaking eat you!”

The Moment

Will Ferrell as Det. Gamble takes offense at his partner’s bizarre insult, and turns it back against him.

“OK, first off: a lion, swimming in the ocean?  Lions don’t like water.  If you placed it near a river or some sort of fresh water source, that’d make sense.  But you find yourself in the ocean, 20 foot wave–I’m assuming off the coast of South Africa–coming up against a full grown 800 pound tuna with his 20 or 30 friends, you lose that battle.  You lose that battle 9 times out of 10.”

Then he takes it a step further, claiming the tuna are now going to develop a system to aggressively hunt the lion and his family, because lions taste good.  When a disbelieving Holtz asks him how he plans on doing that, Gamble replies that they’ll developing a breathing apparatus out of kelp, which will allow them to store enough oxygen to track down the lion’s pride, and then after they’ve gone back and gotten more oxygen, return and hunt them down.  He concludes, “You just lost at your own game.  You’re outgunned and out-manned.”

After a pause, Gamble adds, “Did that go the way you thought it was gonna go?  Nope.”

The scene is straight comedy, with nothing particularly notable happening from a cinematography perspective.  But the dialogue by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy (or possibly improvised by Will Ferrell, who can tell?) is enough to sell it, and Ferrell’s performance is gold.  But we shouldn’t sell Mark Wahlberg short–he does a great job playing a character who so strongly contrasts with Ferrell’s, which naturally is where a lot of the humor comes from.



The Payoff

Clearly outwitted, Terry fights back the only way he knows how–pouring a hot drink down Allen’s lap.

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