Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 32
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

WE’VE FINALLY CAUGHT UP WITH YOU!: The unlikely team of police officers Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell, left) and Terry Holtz (Mark Wahlberg) have literally collared David Ershon (Steve Coogan), a shady British bloke who is allegedly perpetrating a Ponzi scheme.

The Other Guys: Wahlberg and Ferrell Have Great Chemistry as Police Partners

Kam Williams

I guess scriptwriting isn’t a lost art in Hollywood after all, given the profusion of hysterical punch lines delivered in this comedy co-starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. The screenplay is an inspired collaboration by Chris Henchy and Adam McKay, and marks the fourth time Ferrell has been directed by McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers).

As the film unfolds we meet New York Police Department Detective Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) who was recently demoted because of an embarrassing incident in which he accidentally shot a silhouetted Derek Jeter in the leg while guarding the tunnel to the Yankee Stadium clubhouse. Because of his itchy trigger finger he has been assigned to desk duty where he is mercilessly teased by fellow officers (“You should have shot A-Rod!”). His partner in his new job is Allen Gamble (Ferrell), a police officer who is an accountant and who has never spent a day in the field.

Polar opposites, Hoitz is chomping at the bit to return to a beat, while Gamble is perfectly content to remain stationed inside police headquarters. Their hard-boiled boss Captain Mauch (Michael Keaton) is determined to keep them under his watchful eye. However, when the department’s top officers, Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson), make a call for backup while in hot pursuit of a couple of perps, Mauch is desperately in need of additional patrol teams. He has no choice but to order the mismatched partners out on patrol together. As they proceed to get acquainted while cooped up in Gamble’s red Prius patrol car, the pair’s awkward exchanges are priceless.

For instance, when macho Hoitz gruffly rebuffs an overture of friendship by tossing Gamble’s gift out of the car window, the unfazed Gamble responds with, “I’m going to climb over that anger wall of yours one of these days and it’s going to be glorious.” Their slapstick comedy is just as hilarious as their exchanges, such as when they brake too late when rushing to a crime scene and end up screeching to a stop over a chalk-outlined corpse.

Narrated by Ice-T, the film is a whodunit revolving around the protagonists’ efforts to crack a Ponzi scheme that was hatched by a shady British bloke (Steve Coogan). However, their mission to bring the hooligan to justice is overshadowed by the comedic antics of the zany police partners. Also, each of them has a love interest, with much mirth being generated by Gamble’s dysfunctional marriage to emergency room physician (Eva Mendes) and by Hoitz’s possessive displays of jealousy around his ballerina girlfriend (Lindsay Sloane).

Excellent (4 stars). Rated PG-13 for profanity, crude humor, sexuality, violence, and drug use. Running time: 107 Minutes. Studio: 20th Columbia Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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