While New York detectives Christopher Danson (The Rock) and PK Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) wow the city with their heroics, colleagues Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are the "other guys". Chained to their desks, forensic accountant Gamble and disgraced cop Hoitz are at each other's throats when an unfortunate incident gives them the opportunity to prove themselves.
Stumbling upon a multi-million-dollar scam linked to businessman David Ershon (Steve Coogan), the paperworkloving Gamble begins a typically pernickety investigation, much to the bullish Hoitz's displeasure. As the dysfunctional duo drive police captain Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton) to distraction, clashing over everything from Gamble's choice of car to their differing taste in music, they nevertheless make progress on the case. Learning that Ershon's dealings have put the police pension fund under threat, Hoitz and Gamble must find common ground as they close in on the culprits and work together to avoid being bumped off by Aussie hatchet man Roger Wesley (Ray Stevenson).
The buddy cop genre gets a shot in the arm with this wildly funny send-up from Anchorman director McKay. Pairing up regular collaborator Ferrell with Wahlberg is a master stroke, the funnyman's antics gelling well with the Oscar-nominated actor's boyishly aggressive detective, a blend of his volatile cop from The Departed and wide-eyed innocent from Boogie Nights.
Equally fun are the supporting cast, particularly Eva Mendes as Gamble's unfeasibly attractive wife, and Keaton's amiable captain, who supplements his income with a second job at a bedding store.
Beneath the stream of laugh-out-loud gags, McKay has even managed to infuse the film with some very timely themes regarding the economic crisis, although his approach is playful rather than preachy.
Along with brief-but-brilliant cameos from Johnson and Jackson, and side-splitting revelations about Gamble's shady past that see Ferrell revert to a hilarious and strangely unsettling alter-ego, The Other Guys was quite possibly 2010's funniest film and is likely to enjoy the same cult comedy following as Anchorman.