Directed by: Adam McKay
Premise: A mismatched pair of detectives (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) investigate a corrupt financier.
What Works: The best moments of The Other Guys mostly come from the supporting cast. Michael Keaton is terrific as a quirky police captain, Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are fun as exaggerated versions of their hard ass on-screen personas, and Eva Mendes gets to show her comedic side as an unassuming housewife. Had The Other Guys focused on the culture of this strange police department and been a MASH-like character study, the film might have succeeded.
What Doesn’t: The Other Guys has all sorts of problems but the film’s main fault is its lack of focus. The picture is all over the place and feels as though it were two movies smashed together: one a send up of the buddy cop genre and the other a satire of recent financial scandals. The film randomly alternates between these angles on the storyline but never reconciles them and so its scenes are disjointed and the plot beats and action in them never have any relation to the rest of the movie. This is a poorly directed film; the gags fail in their set up which cheats the jokes of their punch lines and the action scenes have no tension or visual excitement. The Other Guys also suffers from miscasting. Although Will Ferrell actually does a nice job as a square police detective, Mark Wahlberg does not seem to have any idea what he is doing in this film and neither do the screenwriters who constantly sabotage the character with ridiculous personal issues and stupid physical gags.
Bottom Line: Although The Other Guys is not as terrible as Cop Out, a similar police comedy released earlier this year, it is a very bad movie. There is very little that is funny about this film and audiences would be better off watching Hot Fuzz or just seeking out the films that inspired this one such as Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop.
Episode: #302 (August 22, 2010)