The Other Guys
by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
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The Other Guys is a funny cop movie that pairs an unlikely duo as partners, even when one of them would rather do the police department’s books, as opposed to handling a gun and going out in the field. Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell play the other guys, in that they are not in the group with the bad cops, and they are not in the group with the good cops. They just are, and they are very funny to boot!
Set in New York and narrated by none other than rapper-turned-actor Ice T, The Other Guys begins with a nod to Law and Order, and finds the super bad cops Samuel L. Jackson and DeWayne “The Rock” Johnson going after the bad guys in custom cars, until after one chase, they find themselves about 20 stories up. Thinking they are as bad as they seem, the two jump the roof, only to land dead (literally dead) on their faces. Even at their funeral, the other cops at the precinct get into a fight, trying to figure out which two will prevail as the cops to be beat in the office.
Will Ferrell plays Gamble, who really doesn’t have a clue, but Wahlberg, who plays Hoitz and wants to be a super cop, keeps needling him. Gamble is an odd sort, too meticulous and exact for a cop, and he’s even weirder because he’s married to the beautiful Eva Mendes and he doesn’t realize just how beautiful she is. Before taking Wahlberg home, he warns him to watch out for his wife; that she’s big and plain and can be irritating. And then in walks Eva, with a dress exposing her cleavage, and all the while Gamble tells her that this wasn’t the right dress—not that he thinks it’s inappropriate, but he thinks it’s not fancy enough. When they are thru with dinner and Wahlberg is done salivating, he goes in to slobber Eva on the neck. Gamble also has a dark past that comes to manifest itself before the movie is over.
Another ex-girlfriend in Gamble’s life is also a hottie. He just doesn’t have a clue, and it boggles Hoitz’s mind that such a plain, boring man could attract such beautiful women. Hoitz has a girlfriend of his own, but the two aren’t in the best place. His claim to fame is that he once shot baseball great Derek Jeter during stadium detail.
The pair get their big break when they get a clue that a commodities broker has been swindling money and is being charged with SEC violations. But at this point Gamble is working with only a wooden gun, because the captain, played by Michael Keaton, has stripped him of his real gun, because the cops at the precinct tricked him into shooting it off in the office.
Keaton has his own unique qualities, in that he keeps reciting lines from TLC songs but doesn’t realize that he’s doing this. Damon Wayans, Jr., also stars as one of the fellow officers.
The Other Guys is a funny movie, even in the midst of a few “buddy-cop” movies lately. These two aren’t buddies, they are The Other Guys.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.
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