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The Other Guys

Movie Review: The Other Guys (2010)
Spoilers: none

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The Other Guys, starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell – with Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Keaton – manages to be a funny film with an unsteady stream of entertainment continuity. Like hot water, sometimes you have to wait for more.

Wahlberg is Terry Hoitz, a disgraced police detective known for accidentally shooting pro baseball player Derek Jeter. His partner (Ferrell) is Allen Gamble, an under-appreciated, low-achieving forensic accountant with a short past as a pimp. These two get to file the paperwork for the “big gun” cops, Christopher Danson (Johnson) and P.K. Highsmith (Jackson). That is, until these two super-officers bite the dust while trying to stop the bad guys on a call.

Suddenly, the two top spots for the next big hitters are wide open, but Gamble and Hoitz are not proving suitable candidate replacements, despite enormous efforts to stop embarrassing their department with screw-up after screw-up. The next major case involves billionaire investor David Ershon (Steve Coogan)—a man the audience immediately knows upon introduction can only fill the role of the bad guy with his dead-giveaway British accent and as the owner of 18 Lamborghinis.

Ershon owes organizations from various nations of the world huge sums of money. As he Ponzi schemes his way toward keeping his enemies off his back, an unexpected and close-to-home party stages a robbery to divert attention from the moving of money. Allen and Terry are hot on their trail. Well, not really. They would be, but they keep screwing up.

Always sharply delivered are the lines, with even the most intended-to-be awkward jokes made unfailingly funny. Ferrell and Wahlberg have amazing “odd-couple” vibrancy, with each offsetting the other's persona. Narrated by Ice-T, we have a plot that is sometimes more difficult to keep focus on than it should be, and with an execution that tends to stagnate. The bizarre characterizations and lengthily drawn out jokes can at times be too much, but these tendencies don't stop The Other Guys from going on to become one of Will Ferrell's funnier films. 

Despite getting bogged down in its intermittently boring delivery, The Other Guys – with its two powerful leads – manages to hold its vitals with just enough high-hitting comedy to stay afloat.

(JH)

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Grade: C+ (2 ½ stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for crude and sexual content, language, violence, and some drug material.)
Director: Adam McKay
Summary: Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize.
Starring: Derek Jeter "Himself," Samuel L. Jackson "P.K. Highsmith," Dwayne Johnson "Christopher Danson," Rob Riggle "Martin," Damon Wayans Jr. "Fosse," Michael Keaton "Captain Gene Mauch," Will Ferrell "Allen Gamble," Mark Wahlberg "Terry Hoitz," Steve Coogan "David Ershon," Eva Mendes "Dr. Sheila Gamble"
Genre: Comedy / Action
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