Having seen the trailer everywhere for this film, I had high hopes, especially considering the cast, headed by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, but including such names as Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Dwayne Johnson and Eva Mendes, and the director and writer, Adam McKay, who, though having published mediocre comedies Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, also wrote and directed the hilarious Anchorman. The Other Guys, although slow in parts, on the whole did not disappoint.
Without giving too many plot points away (I best tag this as mild *SPOILERS* just in case) the film opens with Jackson and Johnson being shown as the best cops on the beat, and everyone else is pretty much shit compared to them, including the titular other guys, Ferrell and Wahlberg. Shortly after this, with Johnson and Jackson removed from the story in funny circumstances, Ferrell and Wahlberg are given what McKee refers to as the Call to Power, and the story moves into full force.
What follows is an hour and a half of a plot-driven story concentrating on a series of events which stem from a bank robbery, and is a voyage of discovery for our protagonists, both discovering where the paper trail leads to, and self-discovery, with both of them trying to deal with their respective demons, and over-coming their personal barriers to become good partners.
Steve Coogan also excels in this film, playing the fairly typical British billionaire who there is more to than meets the eye, and Eva Mendes plays her character as Will Ferrell’s wife well, with some funny scenes involving the two of them, and Ferrell understating her obvious beauty. The rest of the cast are faces that, although familiar, are not household names, people like Ray Stevenson, known for being Titus Pullo in Rome, Rob Riggle of Saturday Night Live fame, and Damon Wayans, Jr, who is more famous for his dad than him.
On the whole, Wahlberg and Ferrell are a combination that, on paper at least, should definitely not work. Will Ferrell is a Saturday Night Live actor who brings out amazing comedies every five years or so, and flanks those with a lot of filler crap. Mark Wahlberg is an ex-rapper (ahh Marky Mark, how we definitely don’t miss you) whose pattern of films is fairly similar to Ferrell’s, but in different genres, with his awful films (Shooter, Planet of the Apes) mixing with classics (The Departed, Boogie Nights) and watchable movies (Italian Job, as tragic as it is, We Own The Night, Three Kings.) The fact that these two polar opposite actors work together is itself testament to McKay’s skill, and the script is well-written, with moments of action throughout and some very funny sections. All in all, a surprisingly good film.