USA 2010 Directed by: Adam McKay Written by: Adam McKay, Chris Henchy Produced by: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Miller, Patrick Crowley Cinematography by: Oliver Wood Editing by: Brent White Music by: Jon Brion Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Rob Riggle, Damon Wayans, Jr., Zach Woods, Lindsay Sloane, Rob Huebel, Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Buckley, Adam McKay, Oliver Wood, Brooke Shields, Rosie Perez, Derek Jeter, Tracy Morgan, Ice-T, Anne Heche, Chris Gethard
Everywhere in the world there are alpha males, and then there are the other guys. In one of New York’s police stations this is no different: while detectives Highsmith and Danson (played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) get all the glory, medals and women the other guys do the paperwork for them. It happens though that the two role model cops have a lethal accident during an assignment, leaving the top spots in their division vacant for the time being.
As soon as business as usual takes over after their funeral, those who have never been in the limelight are dying to prove their competence and fill their positions. Detective Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Detective Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are partners who stumble upon a big case, but not only are they up against the organized crime and other detectives trying to steal their case, most of all they are struggling as a team, because they passionately dislike each other. While they are trying to get their act together to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they are up against an army of enemies and a plethora of challenges that all make it very unlikely for Gamble and Hoitz to succeed.
Comedy is a funny thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s one of the most subjective genres of movie and I’m a hundred per cent certain that THE OTHER GUYS will split the audience: it’s simply love it or hate it. Ferrell and co. leave out nothing: the movie is ultra-rude and offensive, sexist, sometimes outright sick and displays all possible forms of bad taste and political incorrectness. So if you can’t stand the heat better stay out of the kitchen.
If you’re willing (and able) to see right through all this ostensible garbage you’ll be rewarded with spot on insider jokes, references to buddy-cop movies (the best since the magnificent POLICE SQUAD series), razor-sharp punch lines and sarcasm dissecting not just a genre, but also its equivalent in society. You can watch THE OTHER GUYS as a form of lobotomy of the buddy-cop movie genre, or you can laugh out loud because it’s the most insane and hilarious comedy of the year so far, killing us with its over-the-top BS and burst of way-out-of-line jokes (while the action scenes are wowing, too).
Ferrell and Wahlberg are the perfect guys for the job; Ferrell does kind of the expected thing playing the deranged character, while Wahlberg is just outstanding as the psychotic detective who’s on the edge 24/7. Both carry the movie with their exceptional comedic talent and even more exceptional performance, making the ingenious script shine in stellar fashion; but it’s also a true ensemble performance, with Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton and most of the cameos being top-notch.
McKay and Ferrell got it all right. With or without putting the film in perspective I can say that THE OTHER GUYS is the best comedy of the year so far. It’s a great spoof, sure as hell, but you know what, it’s also the best buddy movie I have seen in ages.
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