“The Other Guys” (2010)
Going into an Adam McKay movie, you pretty much expect only one thing and that is big laughs. Good news that this latest from the writer-director does not disappoint even with the stakes set pretty high. “The Other Guys” is non-stop laughs and stands tall among the likes of “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights.” When the credits began to roll, my cheeks hurt from laughing so much at this action comedy that sends up the buddy cop movie while also cleverly honoring the traditions of the genre. It’s as if McKay and his co-writer Chris Henchy, who now helm the comedy website Funny or Die, looked at what Kevin Smith did with “Cop Out” and thought to themselves, “We’ve gotta do this the right way.” They’ve done it.
An uproarious opening sequence with Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson camping it up and not holding back kicks things off. After such a promising opening with these two playing the stereotypical tough police guys, the movie luckily never loses steam in churning out the laughs. From under your breath chuckles to full-out guffaws, they keep coming. These two play P.K. Highsmith and Christopher Danson, the two head detectives who talk dirty and don’t mind wrecking an entire city street for a minor marijuana case. When these guys return to the office, everyone cheers for them and idolizes them even for their crass recklessness.
Then there’s the other guys, played by Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. They are Allen Gamble and Terry Holtz who are detective partners but never leave the office. And while Allen is complacent with sitting behind a desk typing and humming away, Terry desperately wants to escape the office, get out into the field and, as he states, fly like a peacock. Though they have the badges, they’re not even considered real cops. This is because Allen is too careful about playing it safe, and Terry had the misfortune of accidentally shooting New York Yankee Derek Jeeter the last time he was on active duty.
From their very first scene together, we realize Ferrell and Wahlberg are an unexpectedly ideal comedic match. Ferrell sends Allen on one of his trademark comic riffs, this one about how a school of tuna could kill a lion, while Wahlberg’s Terry repeatedly lashes out at him with uncontrollable anger. From there this oddball mismatching is constantly–and hilariously–arguing and quipping back and forth lovingly poking fun at the buddy cop dynamic.
Once the duo catches a lead, it sends them on a chase into corrupt corporate big heads who are using money they shouldn’t be and paying off others in shady ways, and while the actual crime the pair is hunting down does get a bit muddled into Wall Street, there is the always superb Steve Coogan holding it down as the biggest corporate head of them all. Also great is Michael Keaton as the police captain who unknowingly references the titles of TLC songs and has a part-time job at Bed Bath & Beyond. Along with that is Eva Mendes as Allen’s smoking hot wife who he treats as his plain-looking ball and chain of a housewife. They’re both playing into the fun, which makes it all the funnier for us.
“The Other Guys” is crammed with plenty of ridiculous and intentionally silly scenes such as a slow-motion gunfight with Terry sliding on his back along a glass table shooting off his pistols like a madman. And the way a wild night of drinking is shown is absolutely hysterical and like nothing you’ve seen before. The stand-out here, though, is Wahlberg who effortlessly stands his ground even against Ferrell’s antics. Casting such as this is what carries th movie making it easily the funniest comedy of the summer.