Who's In It: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Rob Riggle, Damon Wayans, Jr., Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Lindsay Sloane
The Basics: Bottom-rung NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are the worst cops in New York City, an odd couple with nothing in common save for the fact that both are the routine subjects of the entire department's ridicule. So when a big case lands in their laps, Gamble and Hoitz seize their chance to run with the big boys, even if it means suffering one embarrassing mishap after another, and suffering in one another's company. Cue jokes about Priuses, pimps, Eva Mendes's horrifying plainness, and other left-field gags that'll have you rolling in the aisles and yelling phrases like "Soup kitchen!" with your beer buddies for years to come. Rejoice, faithful: Will Ferrell is back.
What's The Deal: After the epic fail that was last year's Land of the Lost, Will Ferrell returned to the loving arms of his creative partner, writer/director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers) to hit another much-needed home run. Behold, the result: the raunchiest, most inanely hilarious buddy cop comedy to come along in a long, long time. As the bespectacled, mild-mannered desk jockey Gamble, Ferrell is the film's snake in the grass, a quiet comic assassin waiting for the right moments to strike, subverting expectations with that trademark Ferrell brio. Holding his own as the Freebie to Ferrell's Bean, Wahlberg taps into a Dirk Diggler-like aggro-cluelessness that works so well, it's sometimes hard to tell who the straight man is. Backed by the added firepower of an equally off-kilter supporting cast, a script that never fails to shock in the very best of ways, and that patented Ferrell-McKay magic (i.e. that comic voodoo with the power to turn normal everyday things into the most hilarious thing you've ever heard), The Other Guys is hands down the funniest movie of the year.
Who Else Flexes Some Surprising Comedic Muscle: Michael Keaton as Ferrell and Wahlberg's put-upon police captain, who works a side job at the local Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Eva Mendes as Sheila, Ferrell's doting, uber-hot wife. Mendes in particular proves her mettle and shows a self-aware sense of humor as the accomplished, foxy physician/ex-Knicks dancer that nobody can believe would ever want to play doctor with a guy who looks like Will Ferrell.
The Little Things That Make It So, So Good: The pitch-perfect swagger of the stereotypical action movie hotshot cops, played gleefully by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, whom Ferrell and Wahlberg (and the rest of New York City) worship. Shout-whispering. Soup kitchens. Third-person references to a pimp named "Gator." An uncredited voice-over narration by rapper-turned-Special Victims Unit TV cop Ice-T. Repeat references to the female R&B trio TLC. Helicopter death by golf ball. The end credits PowerPoint lesson in corporate malfeasance that McKay tacks on while he has your attention, which is the single savviest way anyone's thought of to get Americans informed and pissed off about Wall Street fat cat abuses of power, ever.
The Song That Will Come To Define the Summer Of 2010: An original R&B confection called "Pimps Don't Cry," which pops up in the film and is sung in its full glory in the end credits by Mendes and Cee-lo. Written by Jon Brion, it's the first clear Oscar front runner of the year in its category and makes a perfect zeitgeist-capturing partner with that sublime ditty "Bed Intruder Song" by those Auto-Tune the News guys.