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Movie Review

The Other Guys also known as “Agentes de Reserva,” “Die etwas anderen Cops,” “Os Outros Caras”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material.

Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Action Comedy
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 6, 2010 (wide—3,400+ theaters)
DVD: December 14, 2010
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Featuring: Michael Keaton, Mark Wahlberg (Detective Terry Hoitz), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Danson), Will Ferrell (Detective Allen Gamble), Samuel L. Jackson (Highsmith), Lindsay Sloane (Francine), Ray Stevenson (Wesley), Eva Mendes (Sheila Gamble), Craig Robinson, Anne Heche, Paris Hilton (Jane), Steve Coogan (David Ershon), Rob Riggle (Detective Evan Martin), Rob Huebel (Officer Watts), Damon Wayans Jr. (Fosse), more »
Director: Adam McKay
Producer: Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

“There are good cops and there are bad cops… and then there’s The Other Guys.”

In 2004, “Saturday Night Live” writer Adam McKay and former SNL actor Will Ferrell teamed up and made the movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Absurd, hilarious, and sometimes inappropriate, “Anchorman” was hugely successful, and, over the years, has become the “cult classic” of its generation. Since then, Ferrell has tried to duplicate the success of that film. With each attempt, he has been less and less successful, churning out mostly unfunny movies like “Talladega Nights,” “Blades of Glory,” “Semi-Pro,” and “Step Brothers.” While some of these films were hits at the box office, they relied more and more on disgusting humor and were not nearly as memorable as the far superior “Anchorman.” Rejoining with director McKay, Ferrell’s new film “The Other Guys” doesn’t quite recapture the magic of Ron Burgundy, but it’s easily funnier than anything he’s made since then.

Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz aren’t what you would consider super cops. Gamble (Ferrell) has just been transferred to the NYPD from the Forensics Accounting department, and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) has never been forgiven after accidentally shooting Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter before game 7 of the World Series. Together, they are the least successful partnership in the NYPD. They sit by while everyone else, particularly the unbeatable duo of Highsmith and Danson (played hilariously by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), do the exciting police work.

That’s the situation until Gamble and Hoitz stumble upon a big case. It seems that multi-billionaire David Ershon (Steve Coogan) is up to no good. While they can’t quite put their finger on what it is, Hoitz and Gamble begin to uncover a massive Ponzi Scheme similar to that of Bernie Madoff.

If this plot sounds like a generic buddy-cop type movie similar to “Lethal Weapon”, that’s because it is. The only difference is that Ferrell and McKay successfully inject “The Other Guys” with enough humor and absurdity to turn the genre completely on its head. From the cliché detective speak to the outrageous car chase scenes and explosions, it’s clear that they’ve done their homework on just how a movie like this should look and feel. In fact, they’ve mirrored the genre so much that there are some stretches in the film that feel too much like one of those films and not enough like a comedy.

When it doesn’t get bogged down with too much action, “The Other Guys” delivers hilarious moments that fans of Ferrell expect. Ferrell does his normal shtick while Mark Wahlberg gets plenty of laughs playing off of his reputation of being a very serious action star. The rest of the cast is spot on as well. From the hilarious Michael Keaton as Captain Mauch who works as a police captain as well as a manager at Bed Bath & Beyond, to Eva Mendes as Ferrell’s “plain” wife, the supporting performers add to the hilarity.

Just like the previous efforts of McKay and Ferrell, “The Other Guys” does contain some content issues. There no are sex scenes or nudity, but there are several scenes with sexual dialogue. Strong language is present throughout the film but they do stay away from the f-word and there’s only one occurrence of “G__ D___”. There’s no doubt that crass behavior is present in “The Other Guys”, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the comedic pairing. The content is relatively clean compared to the likes of “Step Brothers”, “Semi-Pro”, and even “Talladega Nights”. Not only is this film cleaner than those, it’s also funnier. Hopefully, Ferrell and McKay will realize that dirtier movies don’t necessarily make funnier ones.

Maybe it’s because I just reviewed “Dinner For Schmucks” last weekend, but I was pleasantly surprised with the content of “The Other Guys”. Compared to that Steve Carrell vehicle, this one seemed rather tame. Another step in the right direction is the positive content found in the film. While there’s nothing ground breaking here, the praise of honesty, hard work, and the “average joe’s” of the world are something you don’t usually find in a Ferrell comedy. The film also showcases somewhat of a social conscience, showing graphs during the credits on how little money police officers are making in comparison to the executives of companies like AIG.

For fans of Ferrell and McKay, “The Other Guys” will meet and exceed their expectations. For everyone else, the results will be mixed. Just like their original hit “Anchorman”, “The Other Guys” has plenty of quotable scenes but also has some material that should make parents think twice before sending their teenager.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Man I was craving popcorn today. You can’t eat popcorn w/o a show. Trouble is my friend, there’s not a whole lot worth seeing this summer. “The Other Guys” came out the other day, and I’m a fan of Will Ferrell, so I figured why not? Adam McKay, a guy who’s partnered with Ferrell on many projects, to include “Step Brothers”, is back with another zany comedy. Seth McFarlane’s baby “Family Guy” really goes overboard with its nutty, oftentimes aberrant humor. Random things happen all the time, probably for nothing more than the sake of being random. McKay is a little more restrained. He takes a been-there, done-that genre (the buddy cop movie) and makes a total travesty out of it w/o getting too cockamamie. Some of his other films include “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights”, so if you’ve sat through any of those, you’ll understand why I say his collaboration with W is no different this time around.

“The Other Guys” has its moments, even quotability, and a hint of comedic genius that I haven’t seen since the 80s with the Ramis comedies. Ramis would sometimes add something subtle, whether spoken or seen, that wasn’t too enunciated, but if you caught it, it was side-splitting. E.g. Eddie asks Aunt Edna “You’ll send those checks?” as he and his family bid farewell after pawning her off on the Griswalds in “National Lampoon’s Vacation”—a reference to an earlier line indicating Cousin Eddie had been mooching off her social security checks. I, for one, didn’t notice it; it was a scene full of a lotta people running their mouths. Credit has to be given to Pops for pointing it out. Now, I won’t spoil “The Other Guys,” but I will say this—look at what M. Keaton is wearing during the grand finale. A spoiler, no, but something to look for, yes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Mega Tron, age 24 (USA)
Neutral—This movie is actually pretty funny and not all that predictable. Will Ferrell fit his role well and throwing Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson into the mix made this movie even funnier. Yes, there is quite a bit of sexual humor and some crude humor in this film, but like what the reviewer said, this film is a step in the right direction for Will Ferrell movies (besides “Elf” that is). Also to note, there are many vulgarities (mostly the s-word), but minimal profanities and only one use of “GD”.

So, to sum it up, this is a good, funny, buddy cop movie, but I recommend you rent it and use a filtering system if you have it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Curtis, age 18 (USA)
Negative—Stupid movie not funny! Oh Mark Wahlberg, why? Go see “Inception”!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—R, age 20 (USA)
Negative—We really wanted to see a comedy last night and figured that Will Ferrell would deliver, even if we had to tolerate some off-color humor. Big mistake! Not only was the movie vulgar and profane, it was the most nonsensical movie I’ve seen in years. Most of the humor fell flat, and the story had no story. Absolutely not for kids or teens, because of the sexual innuendo and language. Adults should make another pick; there just aren’t enough laughs to justify the ick-factor.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Diana O, age 41 (USA)
Negative—This was pretty bad. I do admit that the comedic dynamic between the two lead characters, played by Wahlberg and Ferrell, was pretty good, but it was the only positive aspect of this otherwise goofy, totally forgettable, movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Halyna Barannik, age 64 (USA)
Negative—My wife and I just returned from viewing “The Other Guys.” We go to very few movies, because most are an all out attack on sound Christian values. My wife and I agree wholeheartedly that Hollywood has once again done its best to produce another trashy film. There is more than just sexual suggestions in this movie. We found nothing to laugh at in this movie, because we were so shocked by the filth. We were ashamed that we even went to see “The Other Guys.” For all you who profess to follow Jesus we implore you not to waste your money and time just to have your spirit assaulted. Excuse me now, I feel like I have to take a shower.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Don, age 53 (USA)
Negative—It was just a terrible movie that tried too hard to be funny.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Charlie, age 19 (USA)
Negative—…Do not take anyone to this film if you are opposed to the crude and desensitizing onslaught of sexual immorality in the entertainment industry, poured out on today’s youth. …the movie was filled with filth from beginning to end. … Any Bible-believing Christian who actually spends more time with God than Hollywood will find this movie revolting, despite the laughs and so-called “movie-making quality”.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Ed, age 43 (USA)
Negative—Horrible movie! Can’t believe I wasted my time watching this. I kept hoping it was going to get better. Towards the end we just kept fast forwarding it to get through it. The potty mouth comments got so old!!! Skip this one all together, not worth it!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Amy, age 41 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I have to say, this is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Sure, some of the things were a little innapropiate, but it wasn’t as bad as other PG-13 movies or “Step Brothers,” which I thought this was funnier than. I highly recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jonathan, age 15 (USA)
Neutral—I’m not going to lie, this movie was hilarious. There were several curse words and a few sexual references and one scene were two characters are getting ready to have sex. If you can get past these two obstacles, all ages will be enjoying themselves. I would recommend this to anyone 12 and over. Overall, anyone who likes action/comedy movies, will like this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Matt, age 12 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I took my wife to see this thinking from the review that it wasn’t all that offensive. We stayed an hour which was way too long. The cursing was consistent throughout the movie in addition to all the crude sexual humor. I felt like I needed a bath after watching the movie. I was hoping they would clean it up but we finally couldn’t take it anymore and got up and left. We are adults and usually just go to kids movies these days. A lot of what is rated PG-13 should be rated R. I liked Will in “Elf” and wish he would do more clean roles like that. Don’t waste your money on this stuff.
—Smith, age 36 (USA)
Negative—We walked out after one hour, approximately halfway. Yes, it’s true it isn’t as offensive as some of Will Ferrell’s other movies, but it wasn’t anywhere near “Elf.” We watch “Elf” at least once a year and enjoy it every time. I thought this movie was just… boring. Sadly, the jokes just seemed to fall flat. With all the talent in Hollywood, it’s a wonder they can’t turn out more movies with a wide appeal. They’re doing better with the animated shows.
—Margie, age 49 (USA)