An action-comedy from the director of Anchorman and Talladega Nights starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson and Steve Coogan. Now playing in cinemas nationwide. Click here for session info.
Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay have struck gold before with Anchorman and Talladega Nights, so there’s every reason to think they’d reverse Ferrell’s recent slump in both quality and box office takings with The Other Guys.
The idea of Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg playing office-bound cops who do admin rather than blowing stuff up is inspired, particularly since it gives Ferrell a chance to do more than his usual man-boy shtick. Then there’s the often unintentionally funny Wahlberg who seemingly acts as if he’s in comedies all the time anyway.
They’re surrounded by a great supporting cast including the likes of Michael Keaton, who makes a welcome return to comedy; heroes of the department Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock; Eva Mendes as Ferrell’s wife whose hotness he seems blind to; and slimy investment broker Steve Coogan.
Unfortunately The Other Guys is less than the sum of these amazing parts, with Coogan perhaps summing up the problem. He’s asked to play it pretty straight for much of the film, veering off only occasionally on funny tangents in its latter stages – tangents that come from most of the cast at one point or another and ultimately detract from the film.
Unlike Pineapple Express, which featured stoner laughs within an action movie setting, or the outright parody of Hot Fuzz, the balance of action and humour is off here and by dialing down the moments of ridiculousness from his other films with Ferrell, McKay has made them all the more glaringly odd when they do occur.