After the first five minutes of “The Other Guys,” you’re expecting a high-octane action-comedy with a wild cast of characters that includes Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson and narration from Ice-T. However, it’s never able to capitalize on any of its potential, middling its way through a haphazard adventure that becomes more noteworthy for how many references it makes to ’90s pop trio TLC than anything truly funny encompassed within it.
Overall, while the sum of its parts are solid, there’s not enough to keep you entertained throughout, making it a comedy that misses more than it hits. At times, it’s absurdly funny, other times weird, in a childish, but charming way and at other times, kind of creepy and completely random.
The interaction between Wahlberg and Ferrell, who will remind you of childhood squabbles between best friends, is the selling point of the film and for the most part, hilarious. Together, they form a silly tandem that make the most out of a weak script. For example, seeing Wahlberg compliment Ferrell’s luscious wife, Eva Mendez, over and over, is cute and watching Ferrell help Marky Mark try to get his old girlfriend back by simply repeating everything he says is classic.
However, it is the dirty talk scene between Ferrell and his mother in law [Viola Harris] that takes the cake and the various one-liners from their boss, Gene, [who is either insane or a huge fan of the musical stylings of T-Boz, Left Eye and Chile] played by Michael Keaton, that make the movie truly funny. Weird at first, they eventually tickle your funny bone and give the film a unique sense of style and delivery.
The rest of the film reeks of a dragging plot and weird moments that try to capitalize on the too few cool moments that push the envelope. Ferrell’s past in the film isn’t in the least bit funny and the way he treats his wife isn’t either. Seeing her stand by her man in spite of this seems a bit silly when it’s all said and done. The same thing goes for Wahlberg’s outbursts, which usually start with him complaining about being a peacock and needing to fly and end with him breaking something.
Peacocks don’t fly dude and if this film wasn’t as repetitive, it might have been able to get off the ground much more than it ultimately does.
The way the story comes together also has its share of problems, as the pieces fall into place the same way a cross-eyed blind-man would play “Tetris.” Having the baddies, steal their shoes the first time was funny, but the second time, you feel scammed and wanting to go watch something else. Had writers Adam McKay and Chris Henchy found a way to spice things up more, this could have been Ferrell’s best film since “Old School.” As it stands now, there’s just not enough polish in the script to make it truly worthwhile.
That’s not to say it’s a bad summer flick, but it’s not exactly the next “Rush Hour” either.
Even though the film is a parody and the development is supposed to be somewhat skewed, it takes too long for things to get going and before you know it, the whole thing is over, making you wish a little more time and effort didn’t go into the script.
While it has its moments, they’re just too far and in between for “The Other Guys” to be a true success.