Not simply subverting all sorts of cop conventions in movies but defying audience expectations nonstop in unimaginable ways as well, The Other Guys is so way out there, that it’s easy to forget at times that it’s even a cop caper at all. For starters, there’s a wild bait and switch leading men lunacy at work, then the boys in blue buffoonery just keep on coming.
Director Adam Mckay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers) – what have you been smoking? Outdoing even himself, McKay doesn’t waste a second dropping audiences into a delightfully depraved scenario involving seriously deluded superheroes in their own minds celebrity cops (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson), and a compact red squad car referred to as a tampon.
But back at the NYPD precinct, action is a dirty word. At least for Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell), a wimpy cop who’d rather be clinging to his desk filing everybody’s paperwork in addition to his own, than getting out of doors and doing the crime fighter thing. Trained as an accountant but actually a former college campus coed pimp in recovery, don’t ask, Gamble prefers to brag about auditing his own parents at the age of eleven and discovering discrepancies, even if it got him grounded.
But Gamble’s sedentary desk job days are pretty much over when he’s teamed with his opposite, macho menace Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), a freaky fellow officer who’s fond of mocking Gamble’s sound effects when hitting the side of the bathroom urinal, as distinctly ‘feminine.’ Though Hoitz doesn’t seem to be the worst of this hyper-ballsy bunch, when compared to one overzealous cop who confesses in precinct group therapy that gunning for the bad guys makes him feel gleefully like ‘Viagra with a face.’
Also kicking in for some surprise sidebar laughs is Eva Mendes as Dr. Sheila Gamble, Allen’s physically unappreciated sexpot spouse. Who first locked lips with the squeamish officer when treating him in the emergency room for rectal issues. And who since then is not above sending over her mother via walker, to explicitly instruct her rejecting hubby on how to pleasure her in all manner of kinky ways.
The Other Guys strangely suffers from being too good. That is, the outrageous humor repeatedly upstages less than zany odd couple cop chemistry and a far less effective choppy cookie cutter storyline involving a capitalism convention, and accusations against these two officers of ‘financial profiling’ of the filthy rich and famous. Though when the laughs are so rich, when it comes to plot points, who’s keeping score.