The Other Guys sees Will Ferrell re-teamed with long time collaborator, writer/director Adam McKay. The pair successfully worked together on the likes of Step Brothers, Talladega Nights and most notably Anchor Man: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. If you’ve never seen any of the aforementioned I doubt this one’s for you. Mark Wahlberg is a welcome addition in his first comedy lead role. He slips into the genre with ease while bringing much needed action chutzpah to what is, of course, an action comedy.
While super cops (played by Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) kick serious action butt, happily destroying large sections of
, Ferrell and Wahlberg play the titular other guys: a forgettable pair of losers. As the opportunity rises for some new heroes to emerge, they do just that by chasing a corporate scumbag played by Steve Coogan. Solid support is given from the likes of Eva Mendes as Ferrell’s unlikeliest of hot wives and Michael Keaton as their captain who is a joy to see back in a comedic role and you just want to see more of him. New York
As we are dragged from one expensive action set piece to another, it’s too silly to really care about plot or even the characters. It’s not much more than a series of SNL skits with added ‘splosions’. This makes me wonder what was the point in spending quite so much money. (No small potatoes at an estimated budget of $100 million.) In the DVD extras Adam McKay name-checked Midnight Run as something of a Holy Grail in terms of action comedies. (I agree.) If that’s what he was aiming for he came up way short. The carefully drawn characterisation in that film (of Charles Grodin and De Niro’s parts) is lacking in The Other Guys.
It is, however, incredibly funny (hence four stars) with humour often coming from waaaaaaaay left-field which does unsurprisingly halt the film’s action forward thrust. But look, the leads are a “forensic accountant” and the other has a brilliantly stupid catchphrase of “I’m a peacock, you gotta let me fly!” so analysing a movie like this too much would just be plain silliness.