The Other Guys (12A)
Will Ferrell reunites with Adam McKay, director of his most popular work (Anchorman, Talladega Nights), in a comedy-action movie that begins far more engagingly than it ends.
Ferrell is partnered with Mark Wahlberg as a pair of middling cops – not the daredevil, pistol-packin' ones but "the other guys" – who suddenly get a chance to shine when they investigate a huge embezzlement scandal. As long as it sticks with the goofball riffing and the delectable parody of cop machismo by Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, this works up a decent head of steam. Michael Keaton as their captain is slyly amusing, and even Wahlberg, as the angry foil to Ferrell's unheroic desk jockey, shows unsuspected comic chops (his reaction on meeting the latter's "crazy hot" wife Eva Mendes is hilariously disbelieving). The laughs dry up, however, once the silly heroics kick in, the mayhem and car chases reducing it to exactly the formulaic twaddle it set out to tease.