Feature

Will Ferrell: Back from the dead?

It seemed Ferrell had run his career into the ground — but a new box office hit, "The Other Guys," could turn that around, say some commentators

After a string of box office failures, comedian Will Ferrell has apparently bounced back. The Other Guys, Ferrell's new odd-couple comedy (co-starring Mark Wahlberg) about a mismatched pair of detectives, topped the charts this weekend with a respectable $35.6 million opening. Will The Other Guys' success reignite the monotonously funny man's career — or is it just an anomaly? (Watch an interview with Will Ferrell)

Ferrell is conclusively "back": Ferrell "was banished from Hollywood" after the abject failure of Land of the Lost, says Richard Lawson in Gawker, and seemed permanently lost himself. But after fighting "the long road back to Hollywood success," it looks as if he's managed to save his career: "Cue music, fire confetti cannons, paint a rainbow over Wilshire Blvd.""Rumors of Will Ferrell's death have been greatly exaggerated"

Yes, but how much credit does co-star Wahlberg deserve? From the outset, Ferrell's "dopily over-the-top persona [has earned him] ... more success than he rightly deserves," says Steven Zeitchik in the Los Angeles Times. Luckily for Ferrell, this time he has a "big-name co-star" to "double the promotional power" and give people "twice the reason to see the film." If Ferrell is left to carry a movie himself — as in his worst duds — his career will fizzle again."What's behind Will Ferrell's comeback? (And is it one?)"

Actually, Ferrell and Walhberg needed each other: Will Ferrell wasn't the only actor "in desperate need of a comeback role," says Eric Jaffe in Opposing Views. Mark Wahlberg, who went from "an Oscar nomination to starring in an M. Night Shyamalan film," had gone into free fall. The Other Guys has relaunched Wahlberg, too, and proved he can cut it in a comedy. Sure, both the film and the actors have their "flaws." But "there is no denying that The Other Guys is a solid step in the right direction for both Ferrell and Wahlberg.""3 years later, Will Ferrell funny again in 'The Other Guys'"

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