At its best, The Other Guys is fantastically random, coming at you from left field and drawing genuine laughs. Adam McKay and Will Ferrell team up once again to bring you a comedy that takes offbeat punches at the buddy-cop action genre. This film succeeds in certain places because of its over-the-top action, great comedic efforts from a talented cast, and some absurd jokes that just click.
Will Ferrell plays Allen Gamble, a zero risk desk cop that’s oblivious to his previous life as a pimp, referring to it as a “dating service.” Mark Whalberg, as Terry Hoitz plays an envious cop that desperately wants to be the go-to-guy, but always seems to make the wrong moves; for example, he accidentally mistook Derek Jeter to be a criminal and plugged him. Whalberg and Ferrell work well off of each other, as the soft marshmallow and the tough cookie. The supporting cast is filled with familiar faces, giving performances that hit the spot. Michael Keaton plays Captain Gene Mauch, a TLC quoting quirky cop, and Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson play the “hero” cops with ridiculous ego.
McKay mixes the action scenes and comedy fairly well, and experiments with some style, as he does with a bar partying scene shown in freeze frames. The film is consistent with the type of comedy it’s going for, and overall, the film is a steady, solid effort.
This film has some absurd jokes that work, but there’s a good amount of scenes where you may just stare at the screen and wonder what’s funny about the scene. The plot has no significance, and is a very far second to the off-kilter jokes. Much of the film seems like it’s just one comedic sketch after another, but with the same characters.
The film is a safe, typical Ferrell comedy with nothing fresh to bring to the table besides Ferrell playing a cop. There is just barely enough comedic moments to push this film into the realm of “watchable,” and nothing more.
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