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The Other Guys

It's always interesting to see what a star on the rise will do when they have achieved enough success that they have the juice to put whatever they want on the screen, get the biggest stars in Hollywood on board, and have an unlimited budget to work with. Sometimes you get a disturbing final product like the 2010 action comedy The Other Guys, a film with a logical and believable comedic premise that gets blown way out of proportion with enough plot holes and nonsensical story elements that somehow provided very selective and very forced laughs.

This story about two very different kind of police detectives, both on desk duty for very different reasons, who finally get a chance to break away from their desk with a big case and the expected bonding of the two main characters.

Will Ferrell plays Allen Gamble, a cop who LOVES desk duty and is happy to do everyone else's paperwork due to a troubled past. His partner, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg)was a front line cop who was assigned to desk duty after accidentally shooting baseball legend Derek Jeter. These central characters provide the framework for a story with promise, but somehow got away from the director and screenwriter.

Ferrell's longtime collaborator Adam McKay is the creative force behind this one, serving as director and co-screenwriter and assuming that Ferrell has such a solid fan base that they will accept and embrace anything he does, but it's hard to accept a lot of what's going on here...there's a lot of stuff here that doesn't make sense and there is a modicum of cheap and unmotivated laughs here and there, but not nearly enough to sustain a film of this length and expense and the huge budget Ferrell and McKay were clearly given is evident in every frame.

Ferrell is kind of funny playing against type as an extremely anal cop consumed with fear, but Mark Wahlberg is ridiculously over-the-top as Hoitz, a role that as I watched, had a feeling was meant for John C. Reilly but I guess he was unavailable. Michael Keaton is very funny as their captain with the obsession for R&B group TLC and there is a hilarious cameo at the beginning of the film by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson as rogue cops whose actions ignites this ridiculous story. As the usual with Ferrell's films, there are a lot of great actors wasted in pointless roles who apparently just wanted to work with Ferrell.

I have to admit that I did find myself chuckling now and then in spite of myself, and kept asking myself why because so little that happens in this movie makes sense...though I did love the gimmick of Gamble being married to a babe (Eva Mendes) and Hoitz being completely confused by it, but this is definitely one of those cases where the parts are better than the hole and the star is definitely overestimating what his fans will tolerate from him...a lot of money wasted here...what a shame.