The one remaining thought in my mind after having now watched ‘The Other Guys’ isn’t how good an action comedy it is, which it is, to be sure, or how funny a pair that Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make, which they do, but that, I now, more than anything, need for there to be an entire movie pairing up Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson as badass detectives in a major metropolitan city. Though these two were not nearly as big a part of the movie as the trailers suggested they still managed to steal the show every time they popped up, and of course, their scenes made for some really cool little action spoof moments. Someone needs to make this project happen; it’s just too perfect a combination to pass up. Now with that fun little fantasy out of the way, it is now time to review the movie at hand here.
Detective Terry Hoitz and Allen Gamble’s careers aren’t going as they’d originally planned. Instead of hot shotting it around in a cool cruiser, beating up baddies and spitting cool one liners like the above mentioned detectives, they find themselves stuck perpetually doing paper work back at headquarters with the other bottom of the barrel burnouts and assorted characters. While other officers soak up all the glitz and glory, they just get to soak up bad coffee and each other’s, equally grating company. Hoitz, played here by Mark Wahlberg, used to be a hot up and comer before he goofed up in a big, big way, which I will not spoil here, other than to reveal it involves a very unfortunate case of mistaken identity, his service pistol, and the world series. Gamble on the other hand, is not riding the desk due to any past mistakes made on the force, it is simply where he wants to be, and perhaps, where he belongs. The two men get on each other’s nerves all day long and exchange various macho insults and snipes at one another. Ferrell’s character is seemingly always upbeat about whatever he is doing, including really boring paper work, which agitates Wahlberg to no end.
Gamble’s flair for the mundane comes in handy though as he picks up on the scent of some shady dealings surrounding billionaire businessman David Ershon, our would be villain here, who’s role serves as a send up of your typical Bernie Madoff type guy who came to much prominence during the 2008 economic disaster. This case begins to open up just as circumstances arise that create an opening for both men to elevate themselves from their current meager positions and become the super-cops of action movie lore. Can they make a truly big, career defining bust at this opportune time and save both of their careers from an endless parade of drudgery? Again, I shall offer no spoilers to that end, but you can probably figure it out for yourself in a movie like this. Of course nothing is as simple as it seems and the case takes many twists and turns, which lead to your usual barrage of chases, shoot-outs, fist fights, homeless guy orgies (offscreen thank God), etc.. Err, well I hope that last one does not become a staple of buddy cop movies to come anyway.
Aside from Ferrell and Wahlberg, we also have some other side roles of note here to go over. First there is the absolutely stunning Eva Mendes, looking as absolutely stunning as ever, in the role of Ferrell’s plain, average looking, homely wife (it all gets explained in the movie), who Detective Hoitz develops an immediate and all consuming attraction/obsession to, which of course, creates even more friction amongst our miss matched, odd couple like pair here. And then we have Michael Keaton as the two men’s captain, who is constantly quoting lyrics to famous TLC songs, completely oblivious to himself somehow. There are a ton of other cameos as well as you’d most likely expect from a movie like this, but I’ll let the movie reveal them to you, should you decide to see it, rather than do it here via the keyboard.
This is a genre that has been well worn in, in past decades, and also spoofed quite a bit as well, so it’s not like this movie breaks a lot of new ground, but it is definitely crowd pleasing at what it aims to be, an amiable, middle of the road buddy cop comedy. Ferrell and Wahlberg have great antagonistic chemistry with one another, as Ferrell’s eccentricities gnaw away at the rough and tumble Wahlberg to the point where he would most likely get as much satisfaction from punching his partner in the face as he would from catching the bad guys here. The movie needless to say does not take itself too seriously, or well, I should say it just doesn’t take anything seriously here, as this is basically one long lampoon of macho cop movie clichés and immature gags, most of which hit their mark with precise comedic aim.
But with all that being said, even as it goes as far out as it can into left field for these gags and laughs, it does give the two main characters enough time to grow on you, and with each other, so that you do actually care about them, which saves the movie from becoming a complete farce, or well, a bigger farce than it is I should say, that would become tiresome and wearing instead of something that I could actually see myself re-watching on a rainy day here. All in all, I wouldn’t call it a classic or even a near classic by any means, but there are a number of good reasons to see this movie if you haven’t done so already. There’s a ton of laughs, likable leading characters, and of course, the awesome (but again, not nearly as prominent as the advertising suggested) bits with Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson here. So with that I give it a good above average rainy day recommendation.