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The Other Guys (2010)

A movie directed by Adam McKay

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A Crazy Cop Comedy Caper

  • Aug 12, 2010
Like Laurel and Hardy, like Abbot and Costello, like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are perfectly mismatched in the buddy cop film "The Other Guys," although outward appearances suggest this would not be the case. They could not be anything less alike, physically, behaviorally, or even professionally; Wahlberg, for example, has been nominated for an Oscar, and Ferrell ... hasn't. Despite this - or perhaps because of this - they play off of each other with the timing and precision of natural born comedians. They are, quite simply, inherently funny together. I haven't seen a better pairing of actors in a comedy for quite some time, save only for Steve Carrel and Tina Fey in this year's "Date Night," where they were given license to flaunt their impressive improvisational skills.

"The Other Guys" is, in this reviewer's humble opinion, one of the year's funniest films. It is not, however, merely a vehicle for Ferrell and Wahlberg to act goofy in front of the camera; director Adam McKay and his writing partner Chris Henchy actually bother to tell a story, and they put their characters into genuinely humorous situations. This is quite a turnaround for McKay, whose previous film, "Step Brothers," reached a new low, begging the question of why comedies weren't allowed to be funny anymore. I doubt he read my review for that film, but perhaps he came to understand that, to get a real comical reaction from the audience, he must provide them with more than vulgar characters and disposable one-liners comprised mostly of four-letter words. Let's hope he keeps this in mind for his next film.

The film opens with Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson as a pair of hotshot New York cops, who, along with just about everyone else, painfully mock the NYPD's lowliest staff members - otherwise known as the other guys. These include Detectives Allen Gamble (Ferrell), a forensic accountant, and Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg), a former street cop. Gamble is calm and gullible, the kind of guy who plays it safe, likes to hum his favorite songs, isn't the quickest when it comes to punch lines, and is perfectly content doing paperwork. Hoitz, on the other hand, is angry and bitter, hungry for some actual police work and not at all comfortable with sitting behind a desk all day. He has been stuck with Gamble ever since embarrassing himself in public incident, the details of which are too funny to give away.

For reasons I will not reveal, Gamble and Hoitz have the opportunity to step up and be real detectives, which will hopefully win them some degree of respect. Gamble, through his paperwork, becomes suspicious of a wealthy British investor (Steve Coogan), although no one, not even the police captain (Michael Keaton), takes the case seriously. Because of this, things go from bad to worse every time Gamble and Hoitz delve further into the investigation. To describe every bad moment between them, to mention every disaster that befalls them, would do little more than ruin the hilarity. I will say, however, that there are many well-written jokes related to Gamble's mock wooden gun (a replacement for his actual gun) and his Prius, which in due time loses one of its doors and is riddled with bullet holes.

A curious but nonetheless amusing recurring gag involves Gamble's wife, a doctor named Sheila, played by the indisputably beautiful Eva Mendes. She's so gorgeous that Hoitz is at a loss to explain why Gamble thinks she's merely ordinary. She's also quite accommodating, at times exceedingly so, and yet Gamble continuously refers to her as an unbearable nag. This is, we eventually discover, a trend in Gamble's life, having previously been involved with - and indifferent to - a number of smoking hot women, the kind most men would give their eye-teeth to spend just an hour with. Let is suffice to say that Gamble has his reasons for being the man he is. Let it also suffice to say that Hoitz and Gamble are on completely different frequencies when it comes to women. This connects to the film's one weakness: Hoitz's romance with an aspiring ballet dancer, an unnecessary character who's part of an equally unnecessary subplot.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of "The Other Guys" is the way it uses comedy to send an insightful message about corporate greed, partly through the antics of Coogan's character but most obviously through a series of graphs and figures displayed during the end credits. I recommend you stay and study them carefully. You may learn a thing or two. If you simply don't have the time for them, at least you'll have seen Ferrell and Wahlberg in action, and that is truly a sight to behold. Yes, it's an unlikely pairing, but oh, what a pairing it is. They're such a great team. I wouldn't mind seeing their surnames displayed on marquees and posters, immortally joined, able to draw in audiences with the promise of a comedy classic. Ferrell and Wahlberg. It has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

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More The Other Guys (2010 movie) reviews
review by . November 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Check out the extended trailers (geez, we've even got Special Editions of trailers now):            I saw this on a plane this week and practically splurted out coffee on the woman next to me when Samuel L. delivered the line: "If I wanna hear you talk, I'll shove my arm up your ass and work your mouth like a puppet!" Pure poetry.      In fact, you can pretty much skip the by-the-numbers plot and focus on the outstandingly …
review by . December 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 1/2 stars:
Throughout history there have been heroes, mighty heroes who have  rose up out of the shadows to defend humanity during there  darkest hours they have stood tall against oppression and hatred to become some of the most  recognizable names in history. These heroes are know far and wide for there heroic acts and selflessness   but what about the guys who do there job day  in and day out what about the guys who don't get there names in the history books or are adored …
Quick Tip by . April 17, 2011
Not as funny as some of Ferrell's other movies, but still worth a few laughs.
review by . August 16, 2010
I don't think I'm saying anything terribly controversial or original when I state that Will Farrell movies tend to be a mixed bag. His most beloved star vehicles TALLEDEGA NIGHTS and ANCHORMAN, feature many truly hilarious moments, but also moments that just seem a bit weird and random. Farrell and his friend/co-writer/director Adam McKay just can't seem to stop taking diversions that are little more than whims. Sometimes these random moments have a life and excitement of their own (Ron Burgundy …
Quick Tip by . December 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dull, dumb, and highly unfunny "The Other Guys" proves to be one of the weakest comedies of the year by far; this one joke film is a supposed spoof on the buddy cop genre. Spoofing such classics such as "Lethal Weapon" and "Rush Hour" but all this film does is deliver one cringe inducing joke after another, after another, after another, after another after... well I think you get the picture. "The Other Guys" suffers from what most comedies do these days, …
Quick Tip by . December 15, 2010
Will Ferrell continues his streak of incessantly unfunny movies with THE OTHER GUYS. The flick offers, at best, a few modest laughs and showcases a nearly completely wasted Mark Wahlberg as Ferrell's uptight partner.
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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About this movie


Two mismatched New York City detectives (Ferrell and Wahlberg) seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize -- only things don't go exactly  as planned.

Teaser poster art for "The Other Guys."

  • Opens Friday, August 6, 2010 | Runtime:1 hr. 47 min.
  • PG-13: crude and sexual content, violence, some drug material and language
  • Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as cops in this comedy directed by Adam McKay and co-written by McKay and Land of the Lost scribe Chris Henchy. Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Steve Coogan co-star.
    When a forensic accountant and a trigger-happy detective, both of whom idolize the city's top cops, get a chance to step up and improve upon their "B team" status, things don't quite go as planned.
  • Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Adam McKay
  • Genres: ComedyPolice Comedy

  • Although the comedy team of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg does not sound like a threat to Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, they conjure up consistent laughs inThe Other Guys, yet another comedy fromTalladega Nightsdirector Adam McKay. Ferrell plays a mild-mannered police accountant partnered with Wahlberg's hothead (recently demoted to desk-jockey duty after shooting a very famous Yankee player during the World Series), and both men must endure the showboating fame of a pair of supercops (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) in their New York City precinct house....
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    Director: Adam McKay
    Genre: Action, Adventure
    Release Date: August 6, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Runtime: 107 minutes
    Studio: Sony Pictures
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