The buddy-cop action comedy may be Hollywood's most passé genre, but leave it to Will Ferrell and an unlikely sidekick to unleash new life into an unoriginal concept. The fourth collaboration between director McKay (after 'Anchorman', 'Talladega Nights' and 'Step Brothers') and Ferrell, 'The Other Guys' certainly puts this year's 'Cop Out' behind bars.
Allen Gamble (Ferrell) is a forensic accountant for the New York Police Department. His partner is detective Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg), who is being disciplined for an exceptionally humiliating occurrence at Yankee Stadium. The pair are continually outshone by the office 'supercops', P.K. Highsmith (Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Johnson).
However, when Gamble and Hoitz detain rich financier David Ershon (Coogan) for a minor offence, they accidentally uncover a substantial case involving scams, bribery and money laundering. When the ostentatious supercops inadvertently end their own careers, the 'other guys' seize their long-awaited opportunity to become heroes.
Ferrell and Wahlberg have dynamite chemistry as an onscreen duo and spark off each other effortlessly, particularly during the movie's best gag about who would win in a fight between a lion and a tuna and a hilarious scene with a wooden gun. The supporting cast members are just as successful at extracting laughs with their brilliant comic timing. Jackson and Johnson are a prequel waiting to happen. Keaton is sensational as the captain and the most eccentric of the characters with his subliminal references to TLC lyrics, and a second job in Bed, Bath & Beyond. Even Eva Mendes is surprisingly funny as Ferrell's 'plain' wife, providing her biggest laugh with a rendition of 'Pimps don't cry'.
That said, 'The Other Guys' is not flawless. The movie does not take advantage of the disparities between its lead characters often enough, and although the pace is excellent in the first half, it is not sustained. This ultimately leads to ideas being reused rather than new and refreshing jokes.
This goofy spoof is about 30 minutes too long, resulting in the movie becoming a bit tedious towards the end. However, 'The Other Guys' is definitely worth seeing, and if it doesn't make you want to rummage in your DVD collection and re-watch McKay and Ferrell's 'Anchorman', at least it will add more one-liners to your own comical repertoire.