CATEGORIES Reviews
The buddy cop comedy is far from dead.

That declaration stands on the arrival of 'The Other Guys' in theaters this weekend. The film, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, is sending most critics into a tizzy of glee, thanks to its wacky, sharp and subversive humor. The buddy cop comedy is far from dead.

That declaration stands on the arrival of 'The Other Guys' in theaters this weekend. The film, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, is sending most critics into a tizzy of glee, thanks to its wacky, sharp and subversive humor.

Adam McKay, who has collaborated with Ferrell on 'Anchorman,' 'Talladega Nights' and 'Step Brothers,' co-wrote 'Other Guys' and directs, too. Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson play the boss cops in charge whom the Ferrell and Wahlberg's characters envy. Eva Mendes is Ferrell's wife, Michael Keaton is the station captain and Steve Coogan is a conniving billionaire investment banker.

The storyline could have been tightened a bit and things get little cluttered at times, but scribes are loving this funny police story. Here's what they say:

They hype

Associated Press: "It all could have been too familiar, too cute. But there are just enough tweaks to these characters and this formula -- and a refreshingly weird, kinky streak throughout -- that make 'The Other Guys' an unexpected kick. It runs out of steam in the third act and probably could have been tightened a bit. And we didn't need the Powerpoint-style presentation over the closing credits preaching to us about corporate greed: We're all quite aware it's a problem. But the majority of it works.

Entertainment Weekly: "The movie is as antic and raucous and fun as any of the star's previous screen outings, only this one has a surprisingly personal flavor. It's Ferrell's richest riff yet on the comedy of conflicted aggression."

The Hollywood Reporter: "Nimbly blending comedy and action -- with an affectionate slo-mo nod to John Woo -- McKay does his best work to date here, and though the picture could have benefited from a tighter edit, there's no shortage of inspired sequences."

Rolling Stone: "Ferrell is effortlessly uproarious. And watching hardass Wahlberg, in his first starring shot at farce, shake his sillies out is not to be missed. Catch his double and triple takes when the wife Ferrell claims to be embarrassed by turns out to be crazy-sexy Eva Mendes. But there I go giving away the jokes. Don't let anyone spoil the wildly hilarious surprises."

'The Other Guys' Trailer




Time Out New York: "Forget the film's limp attempts to send up 'Lethal Weapon' movies while still delivering boom-boom–bang-bang thrills; you can also ignore the gossamer excuse for a plot involving a financial bigwig (a wasted Coogan). Like McKay and Ferrell's other collaborations ('Anchorman,' 'Talladega Nights'), this comedy works best as an excuse for their bizarro Funny or Die!–style humor: hobo sex in a Prius, ironic soft-rock-sploitation, metaphors about tuna attacking lions."

St. Petersburg Times: "Besides the farcical fireworks, 'The Other Guys' is crammed with dialogue destined to be quoted by smart aleck pals, as with previous Ferrell-McKay creations. I haven't jotted down so many ready-to-use wisecracks in many a screening. Few of the jokes could be repeated here, and would lose much without translation by the cast -- especially Michael Keaton, hilarious as the obligatory police captain constantly on the heroes' tails, and overdue for the chance."

They snipe

Chicago Tribune: "So why does it frustrate? Because Adam McKay and co-writer Chris Henchy ( 'Land of the Lost') have overloaded the narrative, stretching it 20 minutes beyond its practical use and mistaking bigger and more explosive with funnier. From 'Freebie and the Bean' to 'Running Scared' to the 'Lethal Weapon' franchise, the challenge with cop-centric action comedies has remained essentially the same: How to balance straightforward adrenaline-rush material with bits you'd never find in a real cop film?"

Village Voice: "Following the clues, 'The Other Guys' turns more hectic than antic, and somebody didn't pack enough comedy for this long trip-the punchlines in the movie's second half are often callbacks to jokes you may not fondly remember from the first, until every gag is united with its mate."

It's eh, so-so

New York Daily News: "Director Adam McKay and his co-writer, Chris Henchy, have fun spoofing '80s cop movies by outsizing every cliche they can think of. (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are especially amusing in too-brief cameos as the precinct hotshots.) But the formula allows the filmmakers to get lazy, too, relying on easy gags and repeated punch lines."

Orlando Sentinel: "Ferrell's 'Anchorman/Step Brothers' pal Adam McKay directs this with a flair for car chase excess. He and his co-writers stuff the script with throw-away lines and gags. Keaton's police captain moonlights at a Bed, Bath & Beyond and quotes the songs of TLC ('No Scrubs,' 'Waterfalls,' etc.). Mendes croons an off-color lullaby, Ferrell sings a violent ballad in an Irish pub. It's amusingly off-the-wall, but entirely too cluttered to come together. And the third act attempts to make this a comment on Wall Street misbehavior is much like the Ice-T narration -- a hit-or-miss afterthought.