The Other Guys (2010)
May 30, 2019 9:29 AM - Subscribe

Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry "Yankee Clipper" Hoitz are both detectives of the New York City Police Department. Allen is a mild-mannered forensic accountant while Terry is a hot-tempered detective who has been partnered with Allen ever since he mistakenly shot Derek Jeter during the World Series. They receive no respect from the other officers, particularly detectives Martin and Fosse. All but Terry idolize cocky detectives Chris Danson and P. K. Highsmith, who are considered New York City's best policemen even though they frequently cause millions of dollars in property damage catching petty criminals. During a pursuit, Danson and Highsmith leap to their deaths after attempting to "aim for the bushes", which causes the precinct to wonder why they did it and who will take their place.

Anna Smith: This is such an absurd, spoofy film you never feel as if you’re watching a credible investigation. But it’s hard not to split your sides laughing at the crazy action, inventive non sequiturs and comical surprises (you don’t see Will Ferrell driving cocaine-covered cars every day). Ferrell is one of the movie’s greatest treasures, working his lumbering man-child routine into a character with a lovably ridiculous backstory. But the biggest surprise is Wahlberg, who’s a hoot, while Michael Keaton and Eva Mendes also enjoy fun supporting roles. Not every joke works but the gags come so thick and fast, you’ve barely time to breathe before the next laugh. The funniest movie of the year so far.

Tom Huddleston: A great running gag is a tricky thing to pull off: get it right and you’re looking at a bottomless well of laughs, get it wrong and you’ve got a predictable, tiresome joke that just won’t die. ‘The Other Guys’ may lack depth, insight, ambition or artistic integrity. But with no less than three successful running gags – one involving four tramps having sex in a cop car – it’s hard to imagine a sane audience complaining. . . There are two solidly drawn, superbly played mismatched heroes (Wahlberg has never been better). There’s the sprawling cast of lunatic suporting characters, notably Michael Keaton’s TLC-quoting police captain. There’s the usual unlikely romantic pairing: Ferrell’s nerdy, obsessive loser is married to an appealingly self-deprecating Eva Mendes. And there’s a wealth of joyously berserk idiot humour, fusing slapstick and satire, surrealism and stream-of-consciousness improv into what could well prove the funniest movie of the year.

Sarah Marrs: All I expected from The Other Guys was that it makes me laugh, and it did, for two hours straight. There was no grand plan for The Other Guys beyond, “Make Columbia money.” And it did. So on that scale, The Other Guys wins. It was genuinely funny. I am a huge Will Ferrell fan, so I am predisposed to like his movies, but a Sunday matinee crowd (read: old people and families) laughed along with me. It’s juvenile humor, yes, but it works every time. Think what you want of Ferrell—the man commits to the bit. He also brings out the best in his costars. Mark Wahlberg is not the most likely scene partner for Ferrell. Not as good an actor as he thinks he is, but better than people usually credit him for, Wahlberg has a couple traits which make him a decent comic actor, but he also has drawbacks. For instance, his character, frustrated cop Terry Hoitz, spent a lot of time yelling and I enjoyed little of it. Wahlberg is most effective when allowed to relax and deliver quieter, smaller moments. Unfortunately, he was the crazy one to Ferrell’s straight man, and I think The Other Guys made a mistake there. But he had Ferrell to push him through and playing against such a skilled sketch comedian, everyone looks better.

posted by Carillon (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I saw this movie in the theatre and I *still* talk about Michael Keaton's character because that cracked me up.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:24 PM on May 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

The parts of this movie that work for me really work. Even silly stuff like the aforementioned Michael Keaton part, the dumb debate over tuna vs lion, and even the desk pop make me laugh. The send up of the more common cowboy cop trope is good too.
posted by Carillon at 5:52 PM on May 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

The Will Ferrell Aughts Comedy Reign was not always my favorite thing, but I've always been very fond of this movie. Whenever I see a program where someone is near a loud explosion, I still think about Will Ferrell's character complaining that it really hurts. On the other hand, the weird pimp background with Eva Mendes as his improbably hot wife...really didn't work for me.

I think I read an Adam McKay interview (promoting The Big Short) saying that he made a movie directly about the financial crisis because no one paid attention when he'd placed it as the background in the Other Guys.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:11 PM on May 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

"I'm a peacock Captain! You gotta let me FLY!"
posted by some loser at 3:43 AM on June 1, 2019

The first time I saw this movie was heavily doped on painkillers after minor surgery and I laughed so long and robustly I thought I’d burst my stitches. Then I watched it sober some time later and it was good but not as great as my memories. Still, every time I revisit it, I find something new that cracks me up.

The thing that sets this apart from every other dumb Will Ferrell comedy is that it was made during the recession and the financial bits and send up of a Bernie Madoff like character was oddly on point and gives a seemingly silly comedy way more depth. This is the prequel to The Big Short and if you watch that, then this, you can see Adam McKay pivot from comedy to social commentary and activism in real time.
posted by mathowie at 5:48 AM on July 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

This was ridiculous and hialrious when I saw it 14 years ago and no less so on rewatch. Maybe my favorite Will Ferrell comedy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:39 AM on February 9

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