Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan, Michael Keaton, Ray Stevenson
After making fun of car racing, ice skating, soccer, basketball, step-brothers and newscasters, Will Ferrell now takes aim at the buddy cop genre.
Ferrell and longtime SNL collaborator Adam McKay team up to bring us The Other Guys, a parody on the buddy cop movies we have all grown to love over the years. In this story, there are two great cops, Danson and Highsmith, who always get their man and are hailed as heroes by their peers and the city.
But these guys aren't our protagonists. Nope. Our leads are two guys who don't have a decent shot at being heroes, at least when we begin. Allen Gamble is a forensic accountant who loves being a cop behind a desk typing away at his computer, away from danger. His partner Terry Hoitz has been ostracized by the force because he accidentally shot Derek Jeter, the baseball player. These two don't get along long enough to call themselves partners, so how will they work together?
Well, their chance finally arrives when Danson and Highsmith somehow get themselves killed in the line of duty (how it happens is hilarious actually), and Terry tries to get Allen to step up and take their place. Allen's investigation on a minor accounting misdemeanor leads them to David Ershon, a man who is trying to scam a company out of their money to cover the losses of his own company. Terry and Allen's attempts to get to the bottom of things keeps getting thwarted by a man named Wesley, whose job is to ensure Ershon's plan is finalised. The duo have to stop Ershon and Wesley, while putting up with each other, which is no easy task.
You know all those buddy cop films like Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon and 48 Hrs pair up two guys who are total opposites that end up becoming best friends by the time it's over? The Other Guys doesn't stray from that too much, except for the fact that they focus more on the comedy than the action. Despite the fact that Mark Wahlberg can clearly do action films well, he's not much of an action hero here. As Terry Hoitz, Wahlberg is totally over the top as a cop with huge mood swings. One minute he's yelling at Ferrell, the next he's being emotional. It works only half the time though, but it's a good attempt nonetheless at being funny.
Ferrell on the other hand plays Allen Gamble nearly the same way he plays most of his roles in the past, as in being clueless. Allen is basically a nerd of a cop, who has a very fascinating past (not to mention really funny). He also has a gorgeous wife played by Eva Mendes, and throughout the film, we see Terry being constantly surprised as to how a nerd like Allen gets such hot women chasing him. Ferrell and Wahlberg have great chemistry together thankfully, which is one of the best things of the film.
The supporting cast do their part well, but my favourite among them is Michael Keaton, who appears as the police chief Mauch. Keaton's age is showing, but he has great screen presence and great comic timing, and unlike the two leads, he can play it straight without sounding too corny. Also fun to watch are Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson in cameos as Danson and Highsmith, who totally ham up the supercop characters.
I do have a couple of gripes here, like the uneven pace and the way Ferrell's relationship with Wahlberg progresses is similar to Ferrell's relationships with his co-stars in other films like Step-Brothers and Blades Of Glory. But I have no doubt that Ferrell is hilarious to watch here, and that alone should be a reason to go check this out.
Verdict: another Will Ferrell comedy that is more hit than miss. (3.5/5)