x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The Other Guys

The Other Guys plays with the conventions of the cop movie, but doesn't quite make it into classic spoof territory.

Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell
***

You would be forgiven for slotting Adam McKay's latest feature into the same category as 2010's Cop Out, the spoof cop-buddy comedy directed by Kevin Smith - but you'd be wrong.

Wahlberg and Ferrell star as "the other guys", two mediocre cops who, much to the chagrin of Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg), are regarded as the office joke - until their accidental discovery of a huge financial scam provides them with the chance to rise up the ranks.

The fourth collaboration between McKay and Ferrell, The Other Guys is a definite step up from 2008's Step Brothers (Wahlberg and Ferrell prove to be a good comic match), but it still fails to match the brilliance of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Wahlberg has turned out to be one of the most versatile actors of his generation, and his performance accounts for the majority of laugh-out-loud moments in the movie. By comparison, Ferrell's madcap acting has become increasingly tiresome.

There are plenty of genius moments in The Other Guys, though, from Hoitz and Gamble's dysfunctional relationship - watch out for the "tuna vs lion" scene - to the running joke involving the police captain, Gene Mauch (a classy Michael Keaton) and his continual quotations of lyrics from TLC songs when speaking to the duo, followed by his swift denial of ever having done so.

Eva Mendes as Gamble's wife, Sheila, also puts in a surprisingly effective performance. All in all, The Other Guys is a decent comedy, but one that loses its thread slightly towards the end.