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The Forgotten Will Ferrell Action Comedy You Can Catch On Netflix Right Now

In the 2000s and early 2010s, Will Ferrell and The Big Short director Adam McKay had a now legendary string of comedy collaborations with films like Anchorman, Step Brothers, and Talladega Nights. Those films almost instantly rose to prominence in the cultural zeitgeist thanks to their over-the-top parodies of American culture and mountain of quotable lines. But there is another fantastic Ferrell-McKay flick that isn't as often remembered as the others. Thankfully, it's now available to stream on Netflix for anyone who missed it the first time.

The Other Guys is a buddy cop comedy that sees Ferrell, who plays a sheepish forensic accountant named Detective Allen Gamble, team up with Mark Wahlberg, the brash and hot headed Detective Terry Hoitz. While their more stereotypically heroic colleagues pursue criminals around New York City in high speed car chases and propulsive gun fights, Gamble and Hoitz are typically stuck doing the boring work. That is, until they are tapped to investigate a potentially catastrophic financial misdeed and realize that even though it's less sexy than an armed bank robbery, this white collar crime is just as dangerous.

The movie had an admirable showing at the box office and received solid reviews from critics. And despite having a lower profile than some of his other films, McKay considers it one of the funniest movies he's directed.

Adam McKay couldn't get enough of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg's chemistry

Your average moviegoer would likely have a hard time making their pick for the funniest McKay-Ferrell collaboration, so imagine how hard that task must be for McKay himself. Based on an interview with Little White Lies, however, it looks like The Other Guys might be a frontrunner for that title. In a 2020 retrospective interview about the film, McKay told the publication, "I think that movie is maybe the hardest I've laughed on set. There were times when I was sore at the end of the day from laughing."

Of course, as with all buddy cop comedies, the chemistry of the buddies themselves is vital to the humor. In the case of The Other Guys, McKay knew he had something after a gut-busting night out with Ferrell and Wahlberg. He revealed, "We had dinner at a little Italian restaurant and the two of them just made me laugh. They're very different people, but both of them just made me laugh the whole night."

And it's not just Ferrell and Wahlberg that had McKay needing to Icy-Hot himself after filming. From top to bottom, the movie is a smorgasbord of incredible comedic talent.

Keep your eyes peeled for a bevy of famously funny faces in The Other Guys

McKay has always been known for attracting ensembles full of major talent for his films, but The Other Guys might just have the most stacked cast of any comedy he's done. Not only does it have star power at the top of the ticket, but even most of the smaller roles are played by some of the best in the business.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson play an idealized version of the cool cop duo in a hilarious send-up to the types of roles that helped make both actors the superstars they are today. There's also the rest of the police force, who are played by some of the most reliably funny people in the business like Rob Huebel, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle, Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Keaton.

Outside of the precinct there's Eva Mendes as Detective Gamble's wife, Anne Heche and Steve Coogan as the perfectly slimy corporate villains, small roles played by Chris Gethard, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Horatio Sanz, and Ben Schwartz. Did we mention that Ice-T narrates the entire film? What about the fact that Derek Jeter, Tracy Morgan, and The Flight Attendant's Rosie Perez all have cameos as themselves? Basically every scene of The Other Guys is a who's who of funny actors.

Don't let the comedy mislead you, The Other Guys is an ideas movie

While speaking with Den of Geek in 2010, McKay explained that one of his hopes for the film is that it would put more of a spotlight on the seriousness of white collar crimes in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. He explained, "White-collar crime has been marketed – billions of dollars have been put in to have us be bored by it. They don't want us to be interested in that. They don't want us to know the economic terms."

Those ideas were also explored in McKay's 2015 subprime mortgage crisis comedy The Big Short, for which McKay and his co-writer, Charles Randolph, won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. As McKay told Little White Lies, the reception to The Other Guys helped put him on the path that eventually led him to directing movies like The Big Short and Vice.

McKay said, "I was trying to make the entire movie an allegory for the financial crisis, then the movie came out and no one cared." He went on to add that he viewed his "broad" comedies with Will Ferrell, such as Anchorman, as "trying to deal with an element of how America was falling apart."

After The Other Guys didn't generate the kind of attention to the financial crisis as he'd imagined, McKay decided to change gears: "My feeling was, 'Alright, we've been doing broad comedies for a while calling it out, maybe I need to work on one that's explicitly about it.' The Other Guys was definitely a bridge."

It's clear that The Other Guys has a special place in McKay's heart. But don't take his word for it. You can check out the movie now on Netflix.