The Other Guys
The Other Guys is a buddy cop action-comedy pairing Will Ferrell with Mark Wahlberg as b-list New York cops who can't do anything right, but manage to save the day. Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talledega Nights), the film contains all the sorts of things you'd expect: frat-pack silliness, Saturday Night Live-type characters, slapstick action, and celebrity cameos (Brooke Shields, Tracy Morgan, Derek Jeter, etc.). It also contains a few things you don't really expect (Michael Keaton, undertones of economic critique), but for the most part it's a pretty by-the-book comedy—which also happens to be raucously amusing.
Set against the backdrop of the bailouts/financial meltdown era of New York City (in which "CEO profiling" has become a problem), The Other Guys pits a couple of average Joes against a white-collar corporate villain (Steve Coogan). "The other guys" here refer to Allen (Ferrell) and Terry (Wahlberg), washed-up detectives who are the joke of their precinct. Allen is a nerdy, overly polite accountant happy to sit at his desk while others get in on the crime-solving action. Terry is his hotheaded partner eager to do something heroic. When the current hotshot detective duo (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) meets an unexpected end, Allen and Terry stumble into the position of filling their shoes. They take it upon themselves to investigate a high profile, billion-dollar money-laundering scheme (or something like that), and find themselves in way over their heads.
Of course, as these movies typically go, the plot is merely a servant of the various outlandish setups and quirky characters that, while they have little to do with anything story-wise, are the film's bread and butter. This includes numerous gratuitous explosions and gun battles (with, apparently, Nigerian and Chechen bad guys), an over-the-top "getting drunk" montage, flashbacks to Allen's "dark college days," jokes about homeless orgies, and various and sundry other sophomoric (and sometimes tasteless) amusements.
The funniest bits in The Other Guys have to do with the characters and their respective quirky schticks. Ferrell, the master of absurdist acting, plays Allen's aw-shucks innocence with characteristic charm. He's a nerdy guy who drives a Prius, loves his iPhone apps, and somehow attracts beautiful women (though he insists to others that his wife—the gorgeous Eva Mendes—is "cute, but not hot"). Ferrell's over-the-top acting pairs well with Wahlberg, whose Terry is macho and straightforward, yet not without his own odd neuroses (he likes to call himself a peacock and once became an expert at ballet so he could beat the "neighborhood fairy" at his own game).
Though Ferrell and Wahlberg have great chemistry and more than fit the buddy-cop bill, they are not the only funny people in The Other Guys. As the police captain who also works part-time at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Keaton offers unexpected comic brilliance; his penchant for quoting TLC song lyrics is just the sort of unexpected randomness that drives a film like this. Mendes more than holds her own opposite Ferrell and Wahlberg, though her character is relegated to mostly sexualized eye candy.