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.