Misfit NYPD detectives Gamble and Hoitz (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) are sentenced to life behind the desk. They hate each other and the monotony of their meaningless jobs, as they?re forced to live in the shadow of the two biggest and most badass cops on the force (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson). But when those guys go down for the count, opportunity knocks for Gamble and Hoitz. Stumbling onto what could be one of the biggest crimes in years, can The Other Guys step up their game to solve the case without killing each other and destroying NYC in the process? From the director of Step Brothers and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Although the comedy team of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg does not sound like a threat to Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, they conjure up consistent laughs in The Other Guys, yet another comedy from Talladega Nights director Adam McKay. Ferrell plays a mild-mannered police accountant partnered with Wahlberg’s hothead (recently demoted to desk-jockey duty after shooting a very famous Yankee player during the World Series), and both men must endure the showboating fame of a pair of supercops (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) in their New York City precinct house. Along with sending up cop-movie clich?s, the movie basically exists to give Ferrell and Wahlberg room to work amusing variations on their characters (with grace notes for Michael Keaton’s stereotypical tough captain, too). The loosey-goosey structure works especially well when Wahlberg is needling his partner’s squareness or marveling, in wonderfully awestruck tones, at the unbelievable hot-i-tude of Ferrell’s wife (Eva Mendes)–a discrepancy made all the more maddening because Ferrell seems indifferent to her charms. Throw in a plot about a billionaire Wall Street crook (Steve Coogan) and the revelation of Ferrell’s hilariously dark past, and the movie finds a nice zone of silliness. Of course, any Will Ferrell vehicle must be judged by the opportunities for the star to launch into some borderline-surreal riff–and happily, this film comes through. From the moment Ferrell begins deconstructing Wahlberg’s lion versus tuna metaphor, The Other Guys manages to find time for such nonsense, and the film–the world in general, for that matter–is the better for it. –Robert Horton