Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, The Other Guys

Columbia TriStar

Review in a Hurry: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg milk dry their default movie personas, but it's all part of the joke—and what a great joke it is. Sending up by-the-books buddy cop movies, these two Guys are a match made in comedy heaven.

The Bigger Picture: The Other Guys is not only an odd-couple movie, but a wicked parody of badass-cop dramas, with all the shattered-glass, car-chase, bomb-exploding pomp glorified by all action pictures since Die Hard.

The badasses here are Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, gleefully spoofing their usual onscreen roles as swaggering cops with an inflated sense of ego. The only detective who isn't jockeying for position as next top dog is Allen (Ferrell), who plays it safe at his desk, much to the frustration of his reluctant partner, Terry (Wahlberg).

A high profile case comes to their attention, and at Terry's urging, they tackle it with all of the gusto and none of the competence. While they bumble around, the script unpeels their backstories like an onion. Allen's history, in particular, is quite funny, and Ferrell plays his "naïve but not stupid" card as well as ever.

It's the jokes that work best. And there are a ton of them. Most are chuckles, but there are enough gut-busters to make this one of the best comedies since The Hangover. It has the sweet, silly, and somewhat vulgar stamp of Team Ferrell, for sure—writer/director Adam McKay and co-writer Chris Henchy have worked with the SNL alum on various hits like Anchorman, and together launched FunnyorDie.com.

Every actor, from Wahlberg to Ferrell to Eva Mendes to the long-time-no-see Michael Keaton have exceptional timing and nuance.

Our lovable couple are the most fun to watch, particularly Wahlberg, who brings his brusque "Say hi to your mother for me" act to full effect as Terry. He speak-shouts in furrow-browed frustration nearly the whole time, expertly using pauses and timing to deliver the biggest laughs. It's a side of him we've seen before, but not in a comedy. Welcome to the world of screwball, Marky Mark.

The 180–a Second Opinion: The plot, about a case of corporate conspiracy, is certainly not intricate—nor should it be—but it could move a little faster. Large, clumsy gaps lay between plot points and the movie feels longer than it is.


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