The Other Guys | Adam McKay, 2010
Good comedy is hard to find now a days, at least live action ones. This year alone, there were many certifiably horrible comedies like Grown Ups, When in Rome, You Again, The Back Up Plan, The Spy Next Door, Tooth Fairy, Life As We Know It, and plenty others. Meanwhile, the only good comedies I’ve seen were Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Hot Tub Time Machine, and The Other Guys. The thing is, the latter two, in a world with better comedy, would be thought as bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. But since we are not, I must say that The Other Guys is the best live-action comedy of the year.
The Other Guys, rather than focusing on the hot-shot cops that always get the bad guys and end up with the girls, represented here by the always awesome Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, focuses on a couple of detectives, who spend most of the time doing someone else’s paper work or solving pitiful crimes. Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are partners, but they don’t get much action. Allen prefers to stay at his desk because he has never really done any real police work, and Terry once had potential to be one of the greats until something unfortunate, and hilarious, happened. One day, they are investigating something that has to do with building without a permit involving David Ershon (Steve Coogan), a Bernie Madoff type of guy. So, since he is such a person things are deeper than they thought, and the bad guys try to do anything to keep them from investigating further, but they won’t give up.
While this is not anything near a perfect comedy, I must say that I didn’t really find anything to dislike about it. Sure, a lot of the humor has nothing to do with the movie, but still, I laughed a lot. Some of the biggest laughs came from the interaction between Allen and his wife Sheila, who he says is plain, but is played by Eva Mendes and, well, she is anything but plain. So, you could say that I’m a fan of the writing here, and Adam McKay does a terrific job bringing it to life.
The actors are also quite great. Will Ferrell is doing his usual schtick, but the material is good enough that he is not annoying. It is great to see Wahlberg doing intentional comedy, and he excels at it. It was nice to see Micael Keaton back on the screen, particularly in such a funny role. Eva Mendes has to just look hot, and she excels. And Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson kill in their cameos in the beginning.
I loved The Other Guys! In a world devoid of good, silly comedy, this is a very welcome movie.