The Other Guys (Review)

Other “Other” guys not pictured.

There are a bunch of guys who get regular work in films that rely on the same old shtick for laughs, I’ve bagged Will Ferrell enough on this site to let it be known I am tired of his same-old antics, and have been for a long while.

It’s just that The Other Guys showed enough promise early that I thought it could have been so much better than it turned out to be. It can’t all be Ferrell’s fault though, the plot lost a lot of steam after the half way point, but I can’t help but feel that there are a dozen other comedians out there that could have taken his part and made it work… better.

In saying that  I guarantee that the casting of Ferrell will create a bigger box office, he seems to be have enough goodwill with enough idiots to ensure that, but The Other Guys could have been a minor classic if only they went for An Other Guy.


First up: Having Ice T doing the voiceover narration just felt so right.

I guess these must be The Guys?

Sam Jax and The Rock are Supercops, the kind that shoot first and get someone else to ask questions later. The kind that revel in the thrill of the chase: even if it causes millions of dollars in property damage in order for them to issue a parking ticket. The kind of guys that get all the hot sex and are invited to celebrity parties…

You know – Movie cops. In short they are better than you.

And everyone you know.

In every way.

Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Marky-Mark Wahlberg) are not Supercops. They aren’t even very good regular cops. They are the guys who fill in the paperwork and file the reports for the Supercops so they can get to the premiere on time. They are the guys who… no that’s it. That’s basically all they do, fill in forms. Allen is actually happy to do what he does and has no aspirations greater than staying behind his desk, Terry basically detests Allen for his contentment and yearns for a return to the field and “real” police work. I say “return” as he was once a beat cop until an unfortunate incident with a celebrity (it’s a movie, it has to be a celebrity so the audience can go “Oh my god it’s really that guy” and so the celeb can get an imdb credit) saw him busted to a desk job.

Michael Keaton is the boss of the unit, his job is largely to coddle the egos of the Supercops and make sure everyone else doesn’t get delusions of grandeur and sticks to the form filling and coffee making.

The early scenes are quite funny, Sam Jax and The Rock obviously have a blast overplaying their roles and hamming it up bad 80s buddy-cop movie style, the action sequences are fast and frenetic and occasionally inspired. I especially liked the wrecking ball scene. Mark Wahlberg is funny as the almost-straight man and Will Ferrell is mostly tolerable. I’ve read that Wahlberg’s “surprising comedic turn” is refreshing and welcome. Hasn’t anyone seen:

I Heart Huckabees? An underwhelming film but he was the best thing in it.

Three Kings? A great film that was funnier than given credit, and Wahlberg was himself very funny at times.

Date Night? Again a lousy film but he was good in his brief scenes.

The Happening? That was a comedy right? Right? RIGHT? Surely!

Wahlberg might play the so-called straight guy but in doing so and actually acting a little bit he provides most of the best laughs in the film.

Ferrell is allegedly the “funny guy”, but he only has two personas, calm Ferrell and zany Ferrell. Calm-Ferrell is underplayed and always says ridiculous things – only in a deadpan and totally serious manner. Zany-Ferrell is the one who always gets his pants off regardless of the situation and yells every line especially when it would seem inappropriate to do so. Zany-Ferrell is also well known for his bizarre descriptions and wacky sayings and phrases; “A whale’s labia” and such.

I loathe Zany-Ferrell. So the fact that in this film he is Calm-Ferrell is a bonus, but Calm-Ferrell is equally annoying after a while. For example the biggest running joke in the film is that Allen’s wife – played by Eva Mendes in full on “Hot” mode – is continually referred to as his “ball and chain”, and put down as being ugly and plain. On the first meeting this is funny, as Terry gets to express his astonishment that dull old Allen has scored such a smokin’ hot and friendly wife.

The "Old Ball & Chain" - Seriously. That's what they call her in the film... often.The 37th time… not so much. The photo above is how she appears in the movie. THAT”S the old Ball & Chain? Seriously?

Ferrell is allowed to indulge in his uber-serious and oblivious to all common sense sincerity way too many times, he has multiple patented bullshit speeches that ramble on into pointlessness and the less I think about his “Gator” pimp persona the less pills I have to take to stop the voices in my head from screaming.


All that and I haven’t spoken of the plot!

The Supercops fuck up. The Other Guys are unwittingly drawn into the investigation when they arrest a billionaire banker (Steve Coogan – Usually hilarious but wasted here) on a technicality.

Despite all involved ordering them to stay out of the situation Allen and Terry follow up and uncover something much bigger and more sinister and must see there way to solving the case. Along the way of course they end up stepping into the Supercop’s shoes and performing tasks and feats that would make 80s Arnie proud.

Eva Mendes plays Ferrell’s “ugly” wife… Wow now that I write that maybe it is hilarious? No, wait. It really isn’t.


The cold hard fact is that the first half of this film was very good, the second half proves a total let down. The jokes in the second half just seem lazy or recycled and revisited from the first 40 minutes. The frustrating thing is that overall there are some really good jokes and ideas in between the crap and Ferrell’s self-indulgence.

I see that the director has worked with Ferrell 3 times before in 3 films that I detest, Talladega Nights (Zany-Ferrell), Step Brothers (Zany-Ferrell) and Anchorman (a mix but mostly Zany-Ferrell at his worst). He has made nothing aside from those films that I have ever heard of. That being the case, and given the fact that Mr Ferrell is responsible for the worst parts of this film, I think it’s fair to place the blame for “what might have been” squarely at the feet of one Will Ferrell.

Final Rating – 6.5 – 10. The fact that there have been precious few decent buddy cop comedies in recent years means that the promising elements here are all the more disappointing. An opportunity missed.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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