There are the hot shot detectives who get all the fame. Then there are the other guys. In this film's case the other guys are quite hilarious but their story is sorely lacking. Two men, one a disgraced detective after an unfortunate incident when he shot Derek Jeter, and the other, a forensic accountant with an unsavory past, spend their time completing paperwork chained to a desk. Detective Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) is tired of desk work and eager to redeem himself. Accountant Gamble (Will Ferrell) wants nothing more than to remain seated in the safety of the office. Their pairing as partners becomes a full fledged war of different personalities and styles. It is this partnership that makes the film watchable as they learn more about each other and get into a multitude of predicaments. The plot itself, that of proving corruptness in one of the largest company's in the world, is inconsequential. It may be what gets them out from behind their desks and onto the street but it does not propel the story or ultimately give the viewer any form of real entertainment. You may actually forget what the movie is actually about from time to time because the focus is so very skewed. Everything lies with watching the two men interact and thankfully they work incredibly well together. Buried deep down in this comedy of errors is a political message; as shocking as that may sound. The credits roll to the song "Maggie's Farm", as recorded by Rage Against The Machine, while various bailouts, Ponzi schemes, and the like, flash across the screen. The political message may be there in small doses throughout but the darker humor that could have been drawn from it is not dark or sarcastic enough to break through. The raw edge is soft and mushy which is not entirely a bad thing but it does not bode well when you are trying to make a statement. The film remains structured more like a sketch show than an actual movie; it may be funny but it is nothing else.
The banter between the two main characters, Detective Hoitz and Acct. Gamble, is not always very genuine. It is always very funny. The one-liners are pitch perfect from both Wahlberg and Ferrell. Ferrel delivers various monologues that will bring out your heartiest of laughs. Wahlberg does not find his real comedic timing until the dinner scene with Gamble's wife, Dr. Sheila Gamble (Eva Mendes). Watching him stare in disbelief, and comment upon, the mismatch that is Gamble and Sheila, is done with perfection. What you may find the greatest amount of humor from are the backstory's of Gamble and Hoitz. They are shocking and give so much insight into why these men are who they are today - while shocking the hell out of you. Around every corner in this movie is something to make you laugh. It exists just for that reason and disappointment is quite impossible if what you want to experience is comedy and laughter.
August 6, 2010
1 hour 47 minutes