Very Funny Guys
The Other Guys made me laugh so much I could barely breathe while watching one of the early scenes. Not since Waiting for Guffman have I laughed this hard at a film comedy, which was entirely unexpected, for I never imagined Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as a funny couple. Yes, Ferrell can be hilarious simply on his own, and Wahlberg is getting better and better in every outing. But pairing up these two didn’t seem like a good idea to me. Boy was I wrong!
Disgraced New York City detectives Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) couldn’t be more different. Allen loves paperwork and avoids taking risks as much as possible. Terry aches to get back on the streets and see some action. When these two finally decide to solve a dangerous case involving a wealthy entrepreneur (Steve Coogan), they end up experiencing surprising changes in their behavior as well as angering their frustrated captain (the always wonderful Michael Keaton).
But enough about plot. It’s the hilarious banter between the two main characters that makes The Other Guys so special. Ferrell (Land of the Lost) and Wahlberg (Shooter) play off each other brilliantly here. Filled with monumental bickering, their conversations contain the craziest and most clever dialogue of any film so far this year. Watch out for their elaborate exchange about lions and tuna. It might leave you breathless, like me.
Ferrell’s depiction of an overly-friendly and uptight paper-pushing wimp is priceless, which makes the changes taking place in his character such a delight to watch. Wahlberg matches this performance by doing a kind of parody of his Oscar-nominated role as the angry police sergeant in The Departed. He’s especially amusing in sequences involving his “sarcastic dancing” and gorgeous Eva Mendes (The Women), who plays the seemingly unappreciated wife of Ferrell’s character. Wahlberg looks longingly at Mendes in the same way Tina Fey drooled over the shirtless Wahlberg himself in Date Night.
Directed with a great sense of humor by Adam McKay (Talledega Nights) from a humorous screenplay he co-wrote with Chris Henchy (Land of the Lost), The Other Guys suffers from only one problem. Whenever Ferrell and Wahlberg aren’t on screen together, the movie loses a bit of its extraordinary appeal. Explosions, car chases and other action shots cannot compare with the excitement of watching two fine actors at the top of their game.
NOTE: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson also appear briefly in The Other Guys. They have a great time chewing the scenery as two arrogant hot-shot detectives -- and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get an entire prequel devoted to their bigger-than-life characters.
(Released by Columbia Pictures and rated “PG-13” for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material.)
For more information about The Other Guys, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.