- 11 Oct 10
The Other Guys works toward a terrific punch line. The film has plenty of fun, too, with its all-star cast
Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and Highsmith (Sam Jackson) are super-cops who strut around New York surviving explosions, capturing villains and making headlines. Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoist (Mark Wahlberg) are the Other Guys; the former has never fired a gun in the line of duty, the latter was demoted after disrupting the 2003 World Series.
An odd couple locked in entertaining man-child conflicts – tuna versus lion argument, anyone? – the titular washouts get their shot at the big time when Gamble, a diehard bureaucrat, uncovers a violation in a scaffolding permit. This crime against building regulations, however grievous, masks an even grander transgression; crooked billionaire (Steve Coogan) has been covering up his company’s vast losses. Can these inept peelers possibly make the charges stick?
Peppered with excellent cop movie in-jokes (Ferrell’s improbably glamorous wife is played by Eva Mendes) and jollied along by the chemistry between straight-man Wahlberg and dignified fool Ferrell, The Other Guys works toward a terrific punch line. The film has plenty of fun, too, with its all-star cast; in addition to Ice T’s narration and Michael Keaton’s nervy senior officer, there are any number of cameo appearances from the likes of Brooke Shields and Rosie Perez.
It feels downright mean-spirited to complain that the second act loses momentum or that the film might have benefitted from a slightly shorter running time. But Ferrell and director Adam McKay must themselves shoulder the blame having previously raised the bar with Blades of Glory and Talladega Nights.