The Other Guys

First of all, I don't like Will Ferrell. I'm honestly not sure why they're still letting him star in major motion pictures. And I don't really like Mark Wahlberg, either, after that whole Max Payne thing. I wanted to go see Middle Men because yes, a movie about the economics of internet porn sounded more appealing than this. But it wasn't playing around here. Stupid pseudo-wide-release. The point is, if you like Will Ferrell and/or Mark Wahlberg, I'm sure you can find a review raving about how great they are and how funny this movie is, because it seems to be turning into one of those love it or hate it flicks.

Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man 2) and Dwayne Johnson (Get Smart) are P.K. Highsmith and Christopher Danson, respectively. They're Movie Cops. Actually, maybe I mean MOVIE COPS. They'll blow up your car if they catch you making a right turn on red when the sign says not to. Well, not quite, but close. So they're the heroes, at least until they, uh, "get killed" in the line of duty. But even dead, everyone worships them.

The only exception to this, apparently, is Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), but since everyone hates him, that doesn't really matter. He made a very bad judgment call a few months ago and since then has been getting nothing but abuse from his fellow detectives. The bad judgment call was sort of funny -- that was about the only time I smiled, while everyone else was laughing. The only time I laughed was towards the end when someone is about to make a huge wire transfer, and the computer screen shows the name of the bank as Endemic Bank. Now that was funny. But since I was the only one who got it, apparently, maybe no one else in the theatre knew what endemic meant. Me, I collect words like that.

The most recent form of abuse heaped upon Terry is to partner him with Allen Gamble. Yes, that's Will Ferrell. He used to be in Forensic Accounting, which sounds about right; but for some reason he was up and transferred to -- um, I guess it must be Homicide, because it's almost always Homicide, but I've just realized that I don't think they ever said exactly what the department was. Maybe it's Vice. It's one or the other, because at one point they get called to a murder scene involving drugs. Except Allen is obsessed with getting some guy for lack of scaffolding permits, and I don't even know what department would actually handle that.

I really have to stop getting sidetracked. It's harder to stay focused with the bad movies. A man named David Ershon (Steve Coogan, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) has also made a bad judgment call -- well, almost certainly several of them, since he's managed to lose a lot of money. I think it was $32 billion, but I was zoning out during the money stuff since the jokes weren't keeping me awake. In classic Ponzi scheme style, Ershon's figured out a way to bilk one investor to pay off all his others, and since he owes money to some very scary people, it's kind of understandable. Also, since he's rich, has an English accent, and has been knighted, no one wants to think bad things about him.

Except Allen and Terry, who pursue the case in spite of their boss, Captain Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton, now a long, long way from being Batman), telling them to lay off. Allen and Terry don't like each other much, but they stick to the Partner's Code and back each other up anyway. Actually, I have to admit that the actors did play well off each other. It seems like they got to be friends in real life, and that carried over to the screen, which is good. The Captain works a second job at Bed, Bath and Beyond to put his bisexual son through college. No, I have no idea why the police captain's son being bisexual became a running joke, but it did, and it never got any funnier. I also have no idea why poor Michael Keaton had to keep quoting lyrics from songs I've never heard of by a band whose name I didn't recognize, and then deny he was doing it; or why so many of the jokes apparently had to involve body parts; or why the makers of the Prius no doubt paid large amounts of money to have their car abused verbally and physically on the silver screen. Can you tell I'm bitter?

I was going to explain a little more of the plot, but that's basically it. Oh, there's another running joke whereby Allen attracts gorgeous women, which explains Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider, We Own the Night) being in the movie as his wife Sheila. There's another running joke whereby Terry obsesses over Sheila's gorgeousness to the point where even clueless Allen notices. I think they wrote only six jokes and then repeated them all as much as necessary to fill in the time.

I'm going with two out of five. It was going to be two and a quarter because of the endemic joke, but I have to subtract at least that much for first of all, the almost-sex-scene with Allen and Shelia -- I was just covering my eyes when it mercifully faded to black -- and second, for the various scenes when Terry and Allen go out drinking. Some things just can't be unseen.

Image: 
Allen and Terry use Sir David as a shield from the critics. It doesn't work.

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