Very good comedies are hard to find. One of the most basic rules about good films is that it fits the bill of goods. Action movies has good action, romance movies have touching romance and comedies make you laugh. The Other Guys is a comedy. It made me laugh. And laugh. And laugh some more.
Some evidently prefer gross out and crude types. There’s a story but the majority of ‘laughs’ are gained by extreme awkward misfortunes of others in less than subtle or lovely ways. I tend to avoid those movies as my taste doesn’t consider them ‘funny’. What is funny about The Other Guys is that it doesn’t get crude and gross and it rather allows the script and the quality of acting raise the laughs.
This is helped by a strong cast. It’s one thing to have comedians in a comedy, it is something else to have great actors who can do comedy. Just looking at the cast list in the titles gave a good impression of what was to come. Ferrell is obviously the Crown Prince of Comedy Actors. Michael Keaton has a great track record in comedy. Steve Coogan is brilliant as well. Add to that funny cameos by Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson and the ingredients are already there for a good movie. Mark Wahlberg more than holds his own among the collection of funny guys. As if that’s not all you have supporting actors who pull their weight bringing on the laughter.
History reminds us though, that a great cast does not necessarily make a great film. In this area the story and the script come into its own as a superb canvas on which this collection of acting brilliance can go and do their thing. Ferrell and Wahlberg are partners in NYPD in a section dominated by the Jackson/Johnson couple. Ferrell and Wahlberg are The Other Guys who won’t get the invites to the big occasions or be selected for the big cases. Wahlberg made the mistake of shooting a popular yankees player and is paying for it. Ferrell is an uptight deskbound type who is the butt of everyone’s jokes as he displays a logical and analytical approach to his work.
When Jackson/Johnson are killed in action – in one of the many laugh out loud moments – there is room for a new partnership to be the main men. Ferrell in investigating a construction violation comes across a wealthy and influential man in the business world who is on thebrink of losing it all because of the money heowes others. So he gets in on a scheme which of course is illegal. The basis of the film is how the other guys crack the case.
That outline, however, is used to milk lots of comic setups from Wahlberg