Is it just me, or is Will Ferrell decidedly less funny as of the last 5 or so years? For the first half of his career he made a name playing awkward idiotic characters we could laugh at, but after you've seen the same character in 10 different movies, it gets old and you wonder if he can come up with anything new. Maybe his character, Allen, in the movie The Other Guys resembles that as well, but the spin on it (and all the other characters around him) make me think that maybe Ferrell has a few more tricks up his sleeve.
The movie opens with the two famous hero-cops of the department succeeding at yet another bust, and then shortly thereafter dying while failing in another attempt. Through both of the scenarios you get the idea that a lot of the cops don't necessarily have that much respect for each other and just want to climb to the top of the office ladder. Allen doesn't buy into that and is happy to work behind his desk and do paperwork, but his partner Terry (played by Mark Wahlberg), wants desperately to get out from behind the desk and back into the field after an embarrassing incident which cost him his reputation. Needless to say, Terry hates Allen for holding him back.
Eventually Terry gets Allen to start investigating a robbery, and through their misadventures discover that more might be going on than they originally thought. The two bond (although in a very strained and awkward way) and do their best to solve the crime before the other detectives on the force do, and before they are silenced by the criminals.
Set up to be a typical buddy-cop/whodunnit film, The Other Guys veers to the left to infuse Ferrell's brand of comedy into it. The awkward guy might just actually have a hidden (and hilarious) past, the cool guy acts just as awkwardly and might be a little nuts, and the hot girl (Allen's wife played by a spot on Eva Mendes) is well...you guessed it, a little awkward too. Even the chief (played by Michael Keaton in possibly his best role since Batman--think a comeback a la Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, but more subtle), is off beat with his constant TLC references.
But for all this awkwardness you'd think you'd be feeling a little uneasy watching the movie and just wishing the characters of the screen, but that's not the case. Each character highlights the aspects of comedy the actor who plays them is good at. And you end up laughing hysterically and just thinking, "What the..." and wonder what weird thing is going to happen next. It's the same kind of comedy that made Ferrell famous, but taken up a level for those of us who've grown bored. Definitely worth the rental fee and then some.