The last thing I was worrying about was that The Other Guys would be too preachy. Sure, Will Ferrell has a long history of deep, thought-provoking critiques of society and culture, so that should have been my big concern. Also subtitles. And having the last shot of the film be the word "Fin" superimposed over the freeze-framed image of a crying child alone on a beach symbolizing death or something.
You know, sometimes you just want to go, have a drink or two, or three, or ten, and then sit in a movie theater and tune out the seemingly endless parades of nimrods, pinkos and sanctimonious deadbeats who make up so much of our society today. You just want some guys to come on the screen and to do and say some funny stuff. Maybe you want an explosion or two, perhaps a gratuitous shower scene - strike that, as shower scenes are never gratuitous. Unless it's a dude. Or Kathy Bates.
The point is the last thing you want after a Dos XX prep and handing over $11.75 each for yourself and your life partner/designated driver is for a bunch of Hollywood half-wits to stop the fun to give you a PowerPoint briefing on their insights into modern politics - without even the PowerPoint. And it appears that this is exactly what The Other Guys intends to do.
Look. Will Ferrell is an intermittently amusing guy with a bizarre sense of humor and an ability to be oddly compelling in his usual role as an utterly unself-aware buffoon. However, I'd put my level of eagerness to drop $23.50 for the privilege of hearing out his political views at somewhere between passing a kidney stone made of broken glass and helping Ernest Borgnine with his bi-monthly Brazilian wax.
Someone out there might be interested in seeing Ferrell's phallocentric George Bush play - they pimped the stupid thing on HBO enough - but I'm not one of them. I have plenty of geniuses providing me the full benefit of their lefty echo-chamber reinforced clichés on Twitter every day. I don't need to pay for them - there are countless dumbasses out there who give it away for free.
The problem isn't that Will Ferrell wants to talk about politics on stage or on the screen. It's that I don't want to see it in The Other Guys. Let's leave out the fact that the message itself appears to be a confused mishmash of pseudo-populist ire and hazily understood recent history. I just don't want to deal with it in a Will Ferrell comedy. Hell, I'm not being unreasonable here. I'm willing to tolerate having that Marky Mark guy in the movie - that's a major concession for a straight man.
So, now I and I'm guessing a significant number of other conservative folks are going to have to sit this one out. Will the filmakers even notice? Perhaps, perhaps not. But the consequences of alienating at least half your audience with some free-form pinko propagandizing will only grow more consequential over time.
Now, not so many years ago - before sites like Big Hollywood, as here, let the cat out of the bag on lefty sucker-punchery - our number would have been small. No one would think to warn us, mostly because to the extent that most mainstream critics would notice these politics they would probably find them not nearly leftist enough. Even now, the Rolling Stone review - yeah, Rolling Stone is still a thing, if you can believe it - does not even mention The Other Guys' politics. Hacky puff-pieces whitewash it. But then, "Hollywood journalism" is a contradiction in terms - like the phrases "Democratic fiscal responsibility" and "Lady Gaga's talent."
If it weren't for the alternative media, we'd have walked into the theaters, sat down, quietly popped the tops on our beers - everyone does that, right? - and stared wide-eyed and smiling until ... WHAM! The liberal sucker punch would have landed. And we never saw it coming.
Well, we see it coming now, and there are quite a few of us who are a bit reluctant to walk right into a left cross. The point is not that Hollywood should not make left-wing movies - though it shouldn't, considering leftism's unbroken track record of total failure and human misery. The point is that it should not cater to the delusions of the pampered stars and producers who think that years of toiling in detergent commercials and taking roles as "Second Delivery Man" before hitting it big have provided them with unique, valuable insights that simply must be shared with their unwilling, unsuspecting audience.
You want to make a left-wing film? Make it, but be honest about it. Let people know. Spread the word. Sit there during one of those insipid Access Hollywood pseudo-interviews, tent your fingers, lean your enormous movie star head into the camera and say, "In this movie, I don't hold back my poorly articulated thoughts about how the ownership of the means of production should reside in the hands of the proletariat. Plus, I do some really hilarious bits involving farting nuns."
If I want preaching, I'll go to church. When I go to a Will Ferrell movie, I want to laugh. I want to drink my beer, not feel like I need to huck it at the screen. And, while you're at it, no subtitles or "Fin" freeze-frames either.
Crossposted at Big Hollywood.