New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.51: The Other Guys


While gathering evidence to crack a case, NYPD cops Terry and Allen (Wahlberg and Ferrell) must cross the river over to New Jersey to pay a visit to the Gretchel and Dawson accounting firm in Fair Lawn, NJ. This scene in 2010’s The Other Guys was actually not filmed in Jersey but Wahlberg’s character did reference Jersey:

TERRY: “It looks like we’re going to Jersey to visit an accounting firm, that’s a shitty day.”

Just because you’re reading a guy’s blog about Jersey nonsense doesn’t automatically mean he has a hard on for Kevin Smith movies. OK, it does mean exactly that, but so what? You can mouse on over to the back arrow on your browser and take a lightning fast trip (depending on your ISP of course) back to wherever you came from if you don’t like it. And NO, this post isn’t about Brody Bruce, Silent Bob, Randal, Trish the Dish, Holden McNeil or any of Smith’s host of signature characters. It’s about a cop film that Kevin Smith was supposed to direct if the studio’s original plan came to fruition. Needless to say, it didn’t, and Smith went on to direct a very similar, non-Kevin Smith film called Cop Out, which I found to be way more entertaining than it’s sub-par doppelganger, The Other Guys.

Adam Mckay directed The Other Guys with a mega budget while Smith directed Cop Out on an insanely meager budget in comparison. Merely teaming cinema favorites Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg together did not guarantee success considering the big ongoing joke of the movie is a reference to the female R and B group TLC. That was the best material writers Adam McKay and Chris Henchy could come up with? Do Hollywood writers just get together and type up whatever they were making jokes about the night before while getting stoned? “…Heyyyy…duuuude…you remember TLC?” “Yeeeahhhh maaan they were some hot ladies.”

In Cop Out, a film that beat The Other Guys to theaters, Bruce Willis’ finesse and Tracy Morgan’s intrinsic comedic timing win this battle by a landslide. In The Other Guys, Wahlberg’s character Terry was kind of odd and by no means should he be doing comedy unless he’s reprimanding Andy Samberg on SNL for doing impressions of him. As always, Ferrell is funny during his random outbursts back into “The Gator,” a nickname from his days as a pimp.

In Hollywood’s continued pursuit of being completely unoriginal, they decided to rehash ’80s cop movies like Lethal Weapon and 48 Hours. Even with terrible material to work with Ferrell was amusing as a geeky cop who also designs phone apps in his spare time yet scores ridiculously hot chicks. The odd couple relationship between Terry and Allen is more often annoyingly realistic than funny. I must admit that there are some people who make me want to smash my computer into the ground like Terry did, but the effect came off the same as the relief of a squishy stress ball rather than providing over the top laughter.

The Other Guys’ NYPD Captain Gene Mauch is also a part time manager at Bed Bath and Beyond. Fortunately for us, he is played by Michael Keaton. I was glad to see Keaton doing comedy once again, since that’s where he thrives. And yes, I got it, he’s totally unaware of the existence of the group TLC.

Even though it feels as if it just rolled off the assembly line, The Other Guys is worth a rental because it does have a few strong points. Two creatively directed scenes look as if they are straight out of a music video. The first is a still life scene where Terry and Allen are in a bar getting shitfaced and everyone in the bar looks like they are made of mannequins or wax statues. The other is an action scene toward the end where Terry and Allen barge in on a meeting and it turns into a shootout. You might also appreciate that it’s a very New York movie. Look for several breathtaking shots of the Manhattan skyline.