Another amusing, if shallow hit-or-miss buddy comedy may be as inanely fun as last week's Dinner for Schmucks. At least one with much more appeal than Kevin Smith's Cop Out.
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg team up as bumbling NYC cops in the shadow of precinct egotistical hotshots Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson), the latter in brief cameos.
Wahlberg's Terry Hoitz is frustrated by his low-level position (accidentally shooting Derek Jeter also in a nice cameo) while Ferrell's stolid Allen Gamble settles in as a desk-bound
In the screenplay by director Adam McKay (Step Brothers) and Chris Henchy, an antagonizing Terry prods Allen into acting like a real cop when they stumble onto a case no one else wants.
These unlikely partners have to deal with an indifferent captain (Michael Keaton) who also moonlights at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, as well as jeering co-workers (Damon Wayans, Jr. and Rob Riggle).
Frequent Ferrell collaborator McKay (they also have a website Funny or Die) initially tempers the silliness in a way that highlights the banter between Allen and Terry. It's fueled by enough tasteless behavior the rating will allow, while appropriately uneven and unique in thought. Wahlberg's brand of timing and intensity may be ridiculous yet generates rapport with Ferrell's more sedated performance.
Along with some high-octane action (there is an aerodynamic red Prius) including fatuous chases is the crassness for the demographic as the filmmakers take advantage of genre cliches (think of Lethal Weapon or 48 Hours among others from the '80s). Some of the supporting characters include Steve Coogan as a weird, venal investor and gorgeous Eva Mendes as Allen's "plain" missus.
If The Other Guys gets a little messy especially with the Wall Street woes of recent times, it mostly runs well on risible bemusement, suitable to being stunned like when Allen wields a wooden gun. And, the closing credits via pie-charts means to stick it the richest of the rich.