Comedy is always subjective to the individual watching, so you can never really have a movie that is almost universally hilarious to everyone. For me though, The Other Guys, featuring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg has to be one of the wittiest comedies around!
Right off the bat, the film starts off at 100%, with the high octane pursuits & action of Officers Highland & Danson, the wonderfully arrogant duo played by Samuel L Jack & Dwayne Johnson. They are the pride & joy of the department, solving crimes, winning accolades, getting all the money & women! But after their confidence gets the best of them (“Aim for the bushes”), the force is left with vast gap in their task-force. The perfect chance for some other guys to fill in that Alpha position. The other guys in this case, being disgraced cop Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), who craves to get back into the big time after being demoted following a mishap, and his desk happy accountant partner, Gamble (Will Ferrell).
What make the film so amusing is the interactions between our two heroes. Most successful buddy cop movies require the partners to clash, be polar opposites, and it’s done perfectly here. Mark Wahlberg absolutely nails it as the constantly angry and frustrated cop, who would rather be out in the field, than stuck behind a computer. Gamble on the other hand, is more than happy to do paperwork and excel sheets, and as you can imagine, this does not go well his agitated colleague!
Some of the exchanges they have are comic genius! The ‘Lion v Tuna’ (“If I was a Lion, and you were a tuna, I would go outside my food chain to eat you!”) argument that they have will you in stitches, and of course, it ends with hot coffee being thrown, as Gamble systematically dismantles a frankly ridiculous argument of how a tuna would beat a lion in a fight! The general disdain Hoitz has for Gamble is plain to see, such as when he nonchalantly throws a gift out the car window, or his random insults like “The sound off your piss hitting the urinal……it sounds feminine!”
The supporting cast are also on form! Eva Mendes plays the role of Gamble’s surprisingly attractive wife, to the hilarious dismay of the jealous Hoitz. Not only is Gamble oblivious to the fact someone as uninteresting & dull as himself, has ended up with a stunning wife, but he also talks down to her constantly, making Marky Mark even more annoyed at the situation!
Micheal Keaton shines as the dreary precinct captain, having to hold down 2 jobs to make ends meet, his character is constantly dropping in TLC lyrics mid convo, to the amusement of the audience. The silent fight during the funeral is another gem of a scene, where out duo end up in a fist fight with a rival pair of cops, also aiming to take over as the other guys! The scene is just so stupid, but seems to work so well!! The cops even pause mid fight, as some grieving mourners walk past!
Steve Coogan features as the cowardly millionaire, who is clearly up to no good. The scene where he is consistently distracting our heroes with bribes is great, and eventually, no amount of free mineral water with cucumber can put our cops off the trial!!
The film simply has several moments that will stick to anyone who enjoys this movie. There’s the whole ‘GATOR!!!’ revelation, Gamble’s crazy hot Ex, the Toyota Pruis constantly getting roasted, the ‘desk-pop’ among other things!
The plot isn’t the most memorable or unique, cops who no one trusts or respects end up uncovering a hidden scam, end up the heroes. But it’s the presence of our two protagonists that make this such rollicking fun!