“The Other Guys” Movie Review

     Director Adam McKay and Will Ferrell team up once again in the new buddy cop comedy “The Other Guys.”  Past collaborations from these two have brought us “Talledega Nights”, “Step Brothers”, and my favorite of the bunch “Anchorman” so expectations were high going in.  In addition, the producers have put together quite a cast which includes Samuel Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, and Mark Wahlberg.  Time and time again, the buddy cop movie has proven to be a good formula, but lately its just been dead in the water (if you haven’t seen “Copout”, don’t bother).  Does “The Other Guys” buck the trend?

     The story follows two detectives (Ferrell and Wahlberg) as they investigate financial crimes on Wall Street where a rich businessman is about to steal $32 billion to make up for his own financial debts.  Along the way, there is one misfire after another as these two detectives struggle mightily to get their man.

     Will Ferrell has had his share of misfires lately and I had lost a lot of the confidence I used to have that he could carry a film like this.  Last summer’s “Land of the Lost” was an abomination and “Semipro”, which looked to have a world of potential was a disappointing flop.  Still, Will Ferrell has plenty of great films on his resume and there is no reason to believe he wouldn’t excel here.  He does.  Ferrell brings a very subtle humor to the film in a way only he can.  He’s played this type of character many times before and is now really good at it.  I think Will Ferrell excels when he has other great talent to play off of.  In Anchorman, he had the dependable Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell as well as a host of others that helped make that film a classic.  The Other Guys features a similar type cast though many of the players are not known for their comic roles.

     Typically an action film star, Mark Wahlberg tries his hand in a comedic role opposite one of the best in the business.  Earlier this year, Wahlberg had a smaller role like this in “Date Night” and he was responsible for many of that film’s best scenes.  Now in a leading role, he has to sustain that comic energy for much longer, plus hold his own to Will Ferrell.  There really is nothing Wahlberg says or does in the film that makes the characters around him laugh or smile.  He delivers everything on a serious note.  When he says he wants to be a “Peacock”, he means it.  When he shows his ability to dance and says he learned it to make fun of other kids by mocking them, he means it.  All of his lines are delivered deadpan, but that works for him and it works for the audience too.  I felt Wahlberg added a lot to the film.

     Samuel Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are here only in a cameo role, but play their scenes as over the top as one could possibly imagine.  Eva Mendes is absolutely hilarious as Ferrell’s wife and she is part of several clever scenes.  Michael Keaton, who plays the Police Captain in the film has all sorts of funny dialogue.  In one scene, he is found moonlighting as a Bed Bath and Beyond store manager and is giving a store opening briefing, but forgets where he is at and tells the unsuspecting store clerks to be on the lookout for a serial rapist.

     I can’t say “The Other Guys” is the laugh out loud funny film of the summer and it is not Will Ferrell’s best film, but it is a step in the right direction when compared to some of his recent outings.  Audiences will likely point to a few key scenes as being memorable, but most of the film contains subtle humor that will give audiences a smile. Not exactly what is expected from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, but it will have to do for now.  GRADE: C+