Star cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Steve Coogan.
Plot: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are good-for-nothing police officers in New York, struggling to make it big after the exit of super-cops Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson from their department. Among other failed shots at fame, they manage to solve a big financial case involving an unscrupulous banker, with the support of the police chief and Will’s hot wife.
What’s Good: The interesting premise of the film – foolish cops with shady backgrounds make fun characters; the humour; the well-shot car chase sequences.
What’s Bad: The film loses track towards the second half; the climax is clichéd – you expect more after watching the rest of the film.
Verdict: The Other Guys is a fun film, though it won’t be loved, because of its ordinary script.
Loo Break: Towards the end, when the film loses pace and plot.
The Other Guys is about two third-grade cops in New York, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, who have shady pasts. While Will was a psychopathic pimp in college and is doing a desk job as a police accountant to keep his “darker side” from taking over, Mark, on the other hand, bid goodbye to his career as a detective after he shot a football player in the foot right before a crucial match. At the other end of the spectrum are super-cops, Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, who are the toast of New York. Mark, dying to break out of his monotonous desk job, sees an opportunity when the super-cops die a bizarre death while chasing an unknown gang of jewel thieves. So, convincing Will at gunpoint, Mark starts taking 911 calls on the radio, ignoring his Captain’s order to not go out on the field. Expectantly, Will and Mark mess up even the simplest of policing jobs, attracting even more ridicule from their colleagues and bosses. However, they land a big case when they arrest Steve Coogan, a British banker involved in a huge money laundering operation, on the minor charge of construction permits. On the way to the police station, the banker is kidnapped and Will and Mark’s guns and shoes are stolen! How they solve the case to become super-cops, despite the opposition from their ranks and the political pressure, forms the rest of the story.
Adam McKay and Chris Henchy weave together a fun story, with lovable characters (Will and Mark) and rib-tickling humour. The film is a typical underdog story, but being a cop saga, it has plenty of scope for action, car chases and the like, adding to the entertainment quotient. The writers, however, lose the plot in the latter half of the film where, therefore, the audience loses interest because of the predictable turn of events on screen.
Will Ferrell is excellent as the meek, Math-loving police accountant. His transformation to a mad-cap cop towards the end is enjoyable. Mark Wahlberg looks a little uncomfortable throughout the film as the angry and frustrated cop, but he does complement Will’s bizarre and erratic behavior well. Eva Mendes, as Will’s hot wife, is eye candy. Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) are memorable in their cameos. Steve Coogan, as the banker, and Michael Keaton, as the police captain, are good too.
Adam McKay’s direction is average. Although he manages to do justice to the interesting and funny screenplay, he has let the film lose its tempo in the latter half, which sort of spoils the fun. Given a stellar star cast, maintaining the tempo should not have been a difficult task. Original music by Jon Brion adds punch. Cinematography by Oliver Wood, especially in the action sequences, is good. Brent White’s editing is okay. All the technicians have done well. The visual effects team deserves a special mention for the excellent opening action sequence, where Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson run rough-shod over the city in pursuit of a few felons.
All in all, The Other Guys makes for a fun watch but loses out on the opportunity of becoming a great movie, due to an average plot and direction. Watch it for Will Ferrell and the action.