Police officers Highsmith and Danson (Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) are the top cops in the city (think manic Crockett and Tubbs or Riggs and Murtaugh on speed) until they jump to their deaths from the 20th floor while in pursuit of a suspect, leaving an opportunity for another pair to become the top cops. Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) wants that spot filled by his partner, Allan Gamble (Will Ferrell), and himself. The problem is that Hoist's career has been sidelined because he shot Derek Jeter and Gamble is basically an accountant who does not want to be put on the street.
Gamble has discovered that David Ershon, one of the wealthiest men in the city, has not applied for some permits needed for the construction of several of his buldings. Unknown to Hoitz and Gamble, Ershon has been playing fast and loose with other people's money. After being arrested by the two for minor infractions, Ershon is kidnapped. Things go downhill from there for Hoitz and Gamble.
I've read that, while filming the mega-bomb ISHTAR, the stars and the director -- Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty and Elaine May -- were convinced that the film would be a mega-success. They had laughed all through the production, so it had to be good, then -- right? I think somehow the same thing happened with THE OTHER GUYS. I could see where it was supposed to be funny and I could see where I was supposed to laugh. In other circumstances, I probably would have laughed. But...
The direction was sloppy, there was no sense of continuity to the characters, side jokes threw the pacing off, the editing was terrible, everything superfluous stayed in the final cut, Will Ferrell put in a flat performance and Mark Wahlberg a completely unconvincing one. The thing is: the funny was there, but no one bothered to bring it out. This could have been a contender. Thumbs down.