Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material.
The Other Guys was a movie with a lot of little laughs, but not a lot of big laughs.
Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz are NYPD cops. Allen prefers to sit at his desk rather than go out into the world. Terry was an up and coming cop with high aspirations until he accidentally shot Derek Jeter and can't live it down. Working in the shadow of two hero cops, Terry is extremely antsy and wants to get out there and make a difference. But when a case drops into their laps, the two finally get their shot at glory, whether they want it or not. Chasing down a multi-billion dollar financier and trying to figure out how he's planning on stealing $32B, Allen and Terry do everything possible to screw up the case, but somehow it turns out OK.
Thankfully, The Other Guys wasn't your typical Will Ferrell film where he prances and preens for the audience, going over the top in his acting. In this movie, his character is extremely laid back, prefering to make calm, collected ridiculous comments instead of yelling and shouting at everyone. He leaves the yelling to Mark Wahlberg, who spends most of the movie annoyed and upset with someone. Ferrell is definitely in his element here. His character takes every shot thrown at him and comes back with some witty off-the-cuff comment that sounded like it was ad-libbed. My guess is that working with long time director friend Adam McKay allowed Ferrell to just let loose and say whatever came to mind. His character also has a dark side that comes out late in the film, and when that happens it's hysterical. If the entire movie had been like that, it would have gotten old fast, but allowing it to slowly fester until exploding was a good move.
Wahlberg on the other hand, never seemed to settle in to his character. He's got this breathless way of speaking where every sentence starts with him breathing out. It's a strange quirk that takes away the impact of what he's saying. He never felt quite comfortable in a comedy, and was more in his element in the action sequences. The pairing with Ferrell may not have been the best choice for his first true comedic role, because Ferrell is way too latented a comedian. Putting Wahlberg with another action guy, like The Rock for instance, would have been a smarter foray into comedy because at least he'd be with someone on his level.
The rest of the supporting cast was so-so. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson had a 15 minute cameo that was pretty funny, especially the last scene you see them in. It was one of the few truly laugh out loud moments for me. Michael Keaton plays Allen and Terry's police chief, and he was left quoting TLC lyrics and working at Bed, Bath & Beyond as a second job. Eva Mendes played Allen's extremely hot wife, although Allen had no idea how hot she was. No one else really stood out.
The plot was completely unnecessary and didn't mean anything to the story. The movie was more about the relationship between Allen and Terry and their trying to track down the bad guys was secondary. It was an overly complicated plot about one man trying to cover up his investment losses by stealing money from someone else, giving it back to the people whose money he lost, erasing books, etc. The closing credits of the movie gave us a quick history on the American financial system, which was a rather odd way of ending the film. And there is one more scene at the end of the credits as well, so stick around.
There was also a decent amount of action in the film. There were a few big explosions, a couple of car chases, and one huge gun battle. They felt a little out of place since the rest of the movie was more about Terry yelling and Allen making funny comments, but the action was a nice distraction. As I said earlier, the movie had a lot of little laughs throughout, so if you do go see this, you won't be disappointed. But there weren't many really funny moments that you'd leave the movie with. Other than singing Pimps Don't Cry to myself as I left the theater, I can't really rememeber any one scene that made me laugh. But I know there were a bunch of lines that made me chuckle.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall I liked The Other Guys, but it wasn't the laugh-a-minute film I had hoped it would be. Ferrell was definitely on the top of his game, but Wahlberg felt out of place. Some good action helped the comedy, but this isn't something that needs to be seen on the big screen.