The Other Guys
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Sep 14 2010A 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.
The other guys are Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg). They’re decent cops stuck on desk duty in the shadow of superior officers Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and Highsmith (Samuel L Jackson). There’s a plot in there somewhere –it’s got something to do with Steve Coogan as a corrupt businessman – but frankly it’s not worth thinking too much about. This is a movie with a single purpose, which it pursues with relentless efficiency and a spectacular rate of success: ‘The Other Guys’ just wants to make you laugh until it hurts.
To this end, writer-director and regular Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay employs a catalogue of tried-and-tested techniques. 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.
Author: Tom Huddleston
Cast and crew
Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L Jackson, Will Ferrell, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Stevenson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Anne Heche, Steve Coogan, Paris Hilton, Rob Riggle, Damon Wayans Jr., Lindsay Sloane