Reel Shorts | The Other Guys

6 08 2010

This feature first appeared in Jet Magazine.com. To read this review at its original source, click here.

Over the past 25 years, no genre has been exhausted more than buddy cop comedies. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg prove that you can’t judge a familiar book by its cover in the highly entertaining comedy, “The Other Guys.”

Following in the wake of the disappointing Bruce Willis/Tracy Morgan vehicle, “Cop Out,” screenwriters Chris Hendry and Adam McKay re-imagine the buddy cop comedy as a cinematic version of a hip hop mix tape — liberally sampling, layering and loading their film with a consistent current of funny moments.

Narrated by “Law & Order: SVU” co-star Ice-T, the film centers on a pair of mismatched cops, Terry Hoitz (Walberg) and Allen Gamble (Ferrell), who are as close as LeBron James and Dan Gilbert. The two, along with the other detectives in their precinct, are all living in the formidable shadow of larger-than-life super cops Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson). The two alpha-male celebrity officers roll around Manhattan causing thousands of dollars in damage while bringing down the city’s bad guys in spectacular fashion.

After an unfortunate accident sidelines the city’s heroes, other detectives begin jockeying for the spotlight. Before our duo can hit the streets, they must contend with warring partners Martin (Rob Riggle) and Fosse (Damon Wayans Jr.). Nicknamed the “Yankee Clipper” (for accidently shooting a prominent New York Yankee player), Hoitz yearns for some action but his stick-in-the-mud partner, Gamble is content behind a desk. A former forensic accountant, Gamble refuses to go into the field, but after taking constant harassment from Hoitz and other co-workers, the nerdy officer has a change of heart, taking on a throwaway case that nobody in the department would touch. Soon the “other guys” are the hunted ones.

While on the tracks of Gordon Gekko-esque corporate raider, Ershon (Steve Coogan), the partners quarrel, explore their differences and crack plenty of hilarious jokes along the way. Nothing is out of bounds for the pair. Hoitz is merciless in his verbal abuse of Gamble, with constant references to his sexuality and strange mannerisms. During one tense moment, Hoitz blurts out “your piss hitting the urinal even sounds feminine!”

If the primary plot wasn’t amusing enough, director McKay’s script also offers secondary plots that are so interesting they could be movies themselves. Their supervisor, Captain Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton), moonlights to pay for his daughter’s college education while dropping TLC song titles in conversation, blissfully unaware of doing so. Gamble’s taste in women is also a running gag as the introverted cop thinks his super-hot wife, Sheila (Eva Mendes) is an unattractive dog. He also is hiding a dark back-story that is kooky, bizarre and brazenly funny!

The film sometimes feels like the writers threw as many crazy ideas as possible against the wall …and nearly all of them work. Ferrell sinks his teeth into his funniest role since leaving “Saturday Night Live.” Content to be the straight man with a serious edge, he is the comic engine that makes the film purr.

Unlike most cop comedies where the heroes chase down the requisite drug dealers, McKay and Henchy’s fresh twist — incorporating the current financial situation — hits a home run. Ferrell and Wahlberg may try to convince the audience they are “The Other Guys” but at their core they are truly some Bad Boys!

Grade: B+

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4 responses

9 08 2010
9 08 2010
apryl

Ice T did a nice job with narration.

10 08 2010
Jan

I want to see this movie, I need a laugh.

6 09 2010
radiusdanu

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