It’s not much of an idea and not much of a title, but this splendid farce overcomes these obstacles in near-total triumph. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg form a great comedy double act as mismatched New York City detectives who find they have to step up to tackle the city’s baddies like creepy Brit financial trickster Steve Coogan (who at least does have soft hair!) when something happens to the city’s top cops Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson.
Ferrell is particularly sublime in this unexpectedly funny, sometimes hilarious movie, with big laughs throughout – most of them (and the situations the characters find themselves in) coming from left field, so you don’t actually see them coming. Clever that, and all the funnier. Cleverer still, the movie seems like a bunch of blokes arsing around, but that just conceals the real talent that goes into a successful show like this.
A wee bit uncomfy, Michael Keaton seems to be acting in a different movie, but he gets his likeable laughs anyway as the police captain. Where did Wahlberg learn to play comedy? Who taught Ferrell to underplay for a change? Let’s hire their drama teachers for all movies! As we said, a near-total triumph, steered to victory by director Adam McKay, coping manfully with what looks like the cast making up half the script as they go along. A fine comedy ride.