As the least respected detectives in the precinct, desk jockey Will Ferrell and his frustrated partner Mark Wahlberg seem destined to live in the celebrity shadow of supercops Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson. But things change and the routine investigation of a sneaky billionaire (Steve Coogan) suddenly gives "the other guys" their shot at glory. Like the star himself, the fourth partnership between Ferrell and his Anchorman writer-director Adam McKay is wild, explosive and occasionally inspired.
Samuel L Jackson
Will Ferrell: comedy genius or exasperating loudmouth with all the appeal of an attention-seeking five-year-old?
Whatever your opinion of the Brillo-headed star, it's unlikely to change much after this buddy cop caper that reunites him with director Adam McKay, his partner-in-crime on Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.
Another haphazard but expensively assembled collection of sketch ideas, hit-and-miss improvisations and A-list cameos, it's essentially Saturday Night Live does Lethal Weapon.
Ferrell is office-loving Detective Gamble, whose preference for dealing with paperwork over real perps is a source of amusement to everyone... except his action-starved partner Hoitz (Wahlberg, lightening up for the second time in a row after Date Night).
Like the rest of the city, however, they are united in awe of gung-ho crimefighters Danson and Highsmith (Jackson and Johnson).
But when a twist of fate leaves a gap in the police hero market (let's just say when the mighty fall, they fall hard), a mundane probe into the affairs of a corporate mega-shark (Coogan) gives "the other guys" a chance to fill it.
As ever, Ferrell keeps the volume up to 11, but it's Wahlberg who proves the surprise package here, revealing a previously hidden gift for comedy as the straight man. The scene where he meet's Ferrell's unfeasibly hot wife (Eva Mendes) is laugh-out-loud gold.
Director McKay's hectic gonzo style also ensures that if one scene doesn't grab your funny bone, the next will twist it behind your back until the tears come. The silent brawl that breaks out at a funeral is close to genius.
An action comedy that delivers both in spades, it's a hoot. Ferrell fans will lap it up. And those yet to acquire the taste for his brand of comic Marmite can rest assured - it's not so much about him as, well, the other guys.