Comedy is certainly a hidden talent in Mark Wahlberg, as he demonstrated wonderfully in the Scorsese cop drama “The Departed”. This much less serious police story “The Other Guys” gives him the opportunity to show his comedic abilities alongside Will Ferrell, in the latest from Anchorman director Adam McKay. The two play office bound policemen (well… Ferrell is technically an accountant) who get their chance on the big mean streets when legendary super-cops Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) and Samuel L Jackson (each on gloriously over-the-top form) both make a sudden, abrupt exit.
Ferrell and Wahlberg then assume the role of streetwise cops with the script throwing in several unlikely scenarios. One particular highlight is Ferrell’s apparent obliviousness that his wife (played by Eva Mendes) is a stunner.
This ironically is also part of the problem. Whilst the film certainly provides some humorous moments, The Other Guys nonetheless feels like one long “frat pack” style preview (in fact some of the funniest moments are in the official trailer). Each situation becomes increasingly episodic and serves primarily as a vehicle for the Ferrell and Wahlberg double-act. It does not help that the plot itself is entirely forgettable. Likewise the villain of the piece (Steve Coogan in Alan Partridge mode) is wasted and leaves no lasting impression on the audience.
During the final forty minutes, The Other Guys gradually turns into a replica of Bad Boys. Guns are fired in slow motion, cars crash and buildings explode – there is even a funny comment on Hollywood’s portrayal of explosions. The end result however is something relatively routine, despite the strong Ferrell/Wahlberg double-act. Those who have seen the trailer have pretty much seen the film.