The Other Guys

By contributor Patrick Zabriskie

Stars: ★★★☆

Summary: A surprisingly enjoyable and funny comedy that has enough class to show some restraint.

Review: I’ve seen better buddy cop films, better parodies of buddy cop films, and better wholesome comedies than ‘The Other Guys’. But in the latter part of the summer, among sucky vampire spoofs, lame romantic comedies, and the abominations of aging action stars, this film feels surprisingly fresh and original.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as Detectives Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz, two police men who, unfortunately, are confined to desk jobs while other, cockier cops get the action, the fame, and the women. Wahlberg’s character is particularly frustrated by his lowly role, as he once had a much more exciting one on duty until an accident demoted him. Everything changes when a small case of Allen’s reveals a much larger crime operation. Now is the chance for these two men to prove their worth as men of the law.

What makes this film work is an unusually high level of restraint and discretion. Most of the jokes don’t go for crude humor, but are actually sophisticated and funny (A lion/tuna fish joke near the beginning is quite amusing). The action, as well, is effective but also doesn’t go to any real extreme, and there really isn’t that much of it. Having seen ‘The Expendables’ the night before, I was relieved not to experience anymore pointless gunfire and explosions. Although I found 2007’s ‘Hott Fuzz’ to better satire buddy cop movies, ‘The Other Guys’ doesn’t do a bad job of taking jabs at the genre’s various cliches (The car chases, the frustrated police chief, volatile partner chemistry, etc.). Particularly though, I think that Ferrell’s character is what really makes this movie worthwhile. Unlike his usual over-the-top and immature characters, Allen Gamble is a mature, intelligent, and reserved human being. Seeing him interact with his sometimes vicious partner and the crazy situation in which he finds himself was the highlight of the film for me. I hope that, after this film, Ferrell is more willing and better able to get mature parts like this.

‘The Other Guys’ is a good movie. Not a great movie, but a good one. Its worth a watch and is guaranteed for some laughs. Now-a-days, that’s pretty nice.

Buy It From Amazon: The Other Guys [Blu-ray]