“The Other Guys” laughs at cops
Dan Culberson | Aug 19, 2010
The Other Guys is a slapstick comedy that stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as the title characters, two New York City policemen who spend most of their time behind a desk back at their precinct filling out the paperwork for the cases that the two highest-profile policemen solve, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson as Detectives Highsmith and Danson.
Ferrell plays Allen Gamble, a forensics accountant for the department, and we eventually learn why he prefers working behind a desk instead of being out on the street, and Wahlberg plays Terry Hoitz, a hot-headed policeman who got demoted to a desk job after he accidentally shot Derek Jeter in the leg at a New York Yankees World Series game.
In other words, Allen and Terry are the policemen you always see in the background of the photos that are taken whenever Highsmith and Danson receive another award from the mayor.
Unlike Allen, who is happy and content with his desk job, Terry is anxious for a chance to get back out on the streets, but he has been attending therapy sessions for six months and has never said a word in the group.
Terry has hidden talents, and after Allen observes him dancing in a studio and Terry explains why he can dance that well, Allen says, “You mean, you learned how to dance like that sarcastically?”
Terry knows that in order to become a good cop, you have to solve cases, and when something happens to Highsmith and Danson, Terry kidnaps Allen and forces him to drive them to the crime scene in Allen’s Prius.
The biggest case that Allen has ever worked before this one was when some scaffolding permits hadn’t been applied for, but now Allen and Terry find themselves involved in a case that consists of destruction of city buildings, robbery, murder, tax evasion, and a possible Ponzi scheme by a British financier.
Allen has a gift for being attractive to beautiful women, and Terry can’t figure out why, especially when he meets Allen’s wife, an emergency-room doctor played by Eva Mendes.
Oh, and Michael Keaton is in it, too, as the captain of the precinct, and everyone is funny.
The Other Guys takes the police motto of “To serve and protect” and turns it around to “To serve and embarrass.”
I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”
“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.