By Dave Campbell | August 5, 2010
Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Chris Henchy, Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton, Ray Stevenson, Steve Coogan, Anne Heche, Rob Riggle, Ice-T (narrator)
The Other Guys opens under the narration of Ice-T as we meet star NYPD officers Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson). This is the partnered duo of over the top mega cops who top the daily headlines by pulling off ridiculous unrealistic stunts to keep New York “safe”…but these are not the guys we’re looking for. It is shortly after one of the biggest and only laughs in the film we meet “the other guys” Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg).
Detective Gamble is a former forensic accounting officer who offers to push everyone else’s paper in order to stay off the streets, while the hot headed, napoleonic, Detective Hoitz is itching to redeem himself in anyway possible after doing something stupid enough to ear the nickname “The Yankee Clipper”. There couldn’t be a less chemically integrated pair. Gamble and Hoitz decide to step up and change how they are perceived on the force, and with the help of Captain Mauch (Michael Keaton), they spearhead a case head first into the world of corporate finance.
I am completely puzzled as to how this movie was green lit as is. At no point does writer/director Adam McKay hold a continuous tone as to what The Other Guys was trying to be. Is it a buddy-cop action movie, an exploitation film, or something that resembles a comedy? That’s never really settled since at times it tries to shift from one style to the next and end more like a Michael Moore documentary. If I wanted to watch Mark Wahlberg attempt to pull off comedy, I’d stay at home and dial up his Funky Bunch ‘Good Vibrations’ video on YouTube. At least in that he’s doing curls with cinderblocks while pretending to be a hip-hop artist. Sure he can pull off tough guy in a Scorsese film very well, but this just isn’t his gig.
I’m as big of a Will Ferrell fan as the next guy, but someone seriously give this guy some great writing to chew on. I’m just saying that maybe it’s time to part ways with McKay and befriend the Duplass Brothers. The biggest strengths for The Other Guys sit with the supporting cast of characters played by Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton, who (without giving the punch lines away) take part in all the memorable scenes that produced laughter. Unbalanced and lacking in funny…I recommend going to see The Other Comedy.