Once again Will Ferrell and Adam McKay team up to bring us another outrageous comedy. However, simply calling it outrageous is not doing it justice. The buddy cop or copedy genre receives a true template on how to make these kinds of films when The Other Guys was created. Generally you think taking a mild-mannered, well behaved police officer and pairing him with his complete opposite is the basic ingredient to a recipe for guaranteed success. This is not always the case. After experiencing plenty of films such as these, audiences begin to crave more. As in any other genre, the same old obvious jokes and puns simply do not work anymore. We need a new breed of stupidity. A different path on the road to uncontrollable laughter. The alternate route to this destination goes through this Ferrell/McKay production.
Will Ferrell plays Detective Allen Gamble, who is pretty your average police department desk jockey. He loves crunching numbers and filing paperwork and really has no desire to get out there and trade bullets with bad guys. His partner, Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), is as expected the complete opposite. He is constantly pumped and anxious to hit the streets and break some skulls but they never get those opportunities because the entire department is in the shadow of top cops Detectives P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson). These guys are loved and admired by all; they go to the extreme to get the job done and to get their man, no matter how much disaster and chaos they create in the process.
Due to an unforeseen incident, the other cops at the unit finally get a chance to step into that limelight. Of course, Hoitz is right there, willing and able but trying to get his subdued partner on the same track is next to impossible. Finally agreeing to step out of his comfort zone (a little) while dealing with his partner’s constant outbursts of anger, Gamble convinces Hoitz to accompany him on a relatively small-time case that he feels crucially needs to be solved.
Co-produced by McKay and Ferrell, this film has their trademark comedy fingerprints all over it. You know what you are going to get from Ferrell, a class-A comedic performance but he goes even higher in this role trying to earn that A+. Unexpected random outbursts and hilarious monologues reign supreme from his character. He has you waiting impatiently for the next unorthodox dialogue that will make you choke on your popcorn. Mark Wahlberg, although not usually known for his comedic roles had put out some pretty entertaining performances in the world of comedy before but meshes almost perfectly with Ferrell in this story. One moment they are at each other’s throats and you swear they won’t make it through the entire plot but they have to or else there wouldn’t be a movie in the first place. The next moment they are working well together, not flawlessly, but well to get their case solved. The presence of their flawed dynamic as partners is what makes the film work. But unlike other movies, their flaws are unique and just downright hilarious.
Not being able to explain just how funny this film is, I’ll try to put it this way: Imagine a film that has so many little funny tidbits within the main story, it’s hard to keep track of them all. But you try to so desperately because you don’t want to miss anything. With unexpected references to everything from the pop/R&B group TLC to peacocks, there is something for everyone in this film. Eva Mendes who plays Gamble’s wife, Sheila, brings more than just exquisite eye candy to the screen. She delivers some pretty funny dialogue as well going back and forth with Ferrell. Too much in this movie to talk about without giving it away, so I’ll let those of you interested find out for yourself, but well worth the price of admission.
Looking forward to seeing this well put together comedy again, I give The Other Guys “4.5 peacocks who need to fly out of 5”.
-Cop: “From the bodily fluids and hair samples we determined that… a bunch of old homeless dudes had an orgy in your car.”
-Detective Gamble: “Oh God.”
-Cop: “It’s called a ‘soup kitchen’. …A mama raccoon came along and gave birth on the floor, placenta blew out all over the back window there”.