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Film / The Other Guys

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A 2010 Adam McKay action comedy film that satirizes the Buddy cop picture.

The Other Guys focuses on two New York City police detectives, Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg), who have been stuck at pencil-pushing desk jobs for most of their careers while the station's two top cops Highsmith and Danson (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) garner praise from not only the NYPD but from the entire city for their cowboy, take-no-prisoners antics.

After an unforeseen event forces the department to bring two new cops to the forefront to deal with a corporate embezzlement scheme, our two mismatched desk jockeys finally get the chance to prove their mettle and show that they can save the day... all without getting each other killed or driving each other crazy.

Compare Hot Fuzz and Mystery Men.

This film features examples of:

  • 419 Scam: Among the collectors Ershon owes money to are multiple Nigerian princes.
  • Adam Westing: Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson taking their typecast roles. Somewhat the case as well with Mark Wahlberg, who has started to parody the perception that he's a Hot-Blooded jerk.
  • Affably Evil: Given that he's a Corrupt Corporate Executive, a perv, and British, Ershon would seem to be prime Big Bad material, but the film ultimately involves the heroes saving him from worse people, and he's so disarming and charming that he's hard not to like.
  • The Alleged Car: The Prius is slowly transformed into this during the course of the movie, from hobo orgies to gunfire. Highsmith seemed to have a history of getting his cars wrecked.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Gamble's ex-girlfriend's husband. Why is he telling Hoitz about shaving his chest?
  • AM/FM Characterization: While on their way to a crime scene, the impulsive and outspoken Terry plays some heavy metal music to get them pumped, only for the meek and nerdy Allen to switch it to Little River Band. When Terry tosses the easy-listening disk out the window, Allen reveals that his car's disk changer is full of nothing but disks of the same band.
  • Amoral Attorney: Subverted. Neither the characters nor the audience is thrilled to discover that the local SEC lawyer assigned to look over the evidence moonlights as Ershon's personal attorney, but he isn’t corrupt and becomes suicidally distraught after seeing the evidence before ultimately getting murdered for knowing too much.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    Terry: If we were in the wild, I would attack you. Even if you weren't in my food chain, I would go out of my way to attack you. If I were a lion and you were a tuna, I would swim out in the middle of the ocean and freakin' eat you! And then I'd bang your tuna girlfriend.
    Allen: Okay, first off: a lion? Swimming in the ocean? Lions don't like water. If you'd placed it near a river or some sort of freshwater source, that'd make sense. But you find yourself in the ocean, twenty-foot waves, I'm assuming it's off the coast of South Africa, coming up against a full-grown, 800-poundnote  tuna with his twenty or thirty friends? You lose that battle. You lose that battle nine times out of ten.
    • Then Allen goes on to explain in length how he and his school of tuna, having acquired a taste for lion, would proceed to establish a beachhead and construct some breathing apparatus to hunt Terry's pride on land.
      Allen: You just lost at your own game, you're outgunned and outmanned. [beat] Did that go the way you thought it was gonna go? Nope.
  • An Aesop: Just because corporations can get away with rampant greed legally doesn't make it okay. Also, being a real cop doesn't mean you get to act like a rogue Cowboy Cop. The real heroes are the ones who do their jobs without expectations of glory.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the movie, Hoitz and Gamble briefly discuss a case involving corruption at Goldman Sachs before driving off in a classic Camaro. In the unrated version, Derek Jeter reappears and hands Gamble and Hoitz their next case.
  • Anti-Hero: The titular duo are alternately crazy, violent and rude, but their goals are noble and sympathetic at least. Cheerfully deconstructed with Danson and Highsmith, whose Cowboy Cop antics are noted to be disproportionately destructive and whose Cowboy Cop attitude doesn't save them from the fact that long falls from a great height with no parachute can be fatal.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety:
    • Subverted once. Two of the other cops convince Gamble to do a "desk pop", firing your gun at your desk. A dumb thing to do under most circumstances, even more so in a crowded police station. He gets in trouble for it.
    • Also, when Captain Mauch takes Gamble's gun away from him and replaces it with a wooden one, Gamble removes the magazine but never clears the chamber. Mauch holds Gamble's sidearm with his finger on the trigger, which could easily lead to another desk pop.
    • Played for laughs when Mauch is later seen asleep with the barrel of his service revolver against his temple.
    • The freeze frame bar scene indulges in this as well with Gamble and Hoitz discharging Hoitz's service weapon while drunk, crossing into Reckless Gun Usage.
  • Artistic License – Law Enforcement: As a parody of the Buddy Cop and Cowboy Cop genres, this trope is played with heavily. Some notable examples:
    • Danson and Highsmith are archetypal Cowboy Cops, to the extent that they are given awards for the reckless pursuit of some small-time marijuana dealers that results in over $12 million in collateral damage and during which they commandeer a bus still loaded with passengers. (A reporter does call them out on the minuscule value of drugs seized compared to the damage they caused, but is quickly shouted down.)
    • A negligent discharge, particularly one as egregiously stupid as Gamble's "desk pop", would at minimum result in his suspension from duty pending mandatory remedial gun safety training... and likely a psychiatric evaluation as well. His outright dismissal from the department would not be unlikely.
    • Gamble notes after his "apartment pop" that he has only fired his weapon twice, despite U.S. law enforcement being required to pass a gun safety class and live fire evaluation before being permitted to carry a service weapon.
    • An officer can be seen in the background with one of his handcuffs hanging from his belt loop, rather than stored in a dedicated holder. Downplayed as some Real Life officers choose to store extra pairs of handcuffs without cases in a similar manner, but played straight because only one cuff is secured in the loop while the other hangs freely - a big no-no in police work.
  • As Himself: Derek Jeter has a cameo in Terry's flashback, where Terry mistakes him for an attacker and shoots him in the leg. He also shows up at the end of the unrated edition to give Hoitz and Gamble their next case.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Lendl Global CEO Pamela Boardman lets out a loud "SHIIIIIIIIT!" upon hearing how much money her company has lost.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Gamble and Hoitz accepting Ershon's tickets is really close to this trope. They eventually stop falling for the bribes, if only because he's run out of tickets for shows they like.
  • Author Tract: The end credits, which serve to educate the viewer on the abundance of white-collar crime and corporate corruption in the 20th century without a shred of subtlety.
  • Awesome Aussie: Roger Wesley is an Australian villain, but you can't deny he's pretty cool.
    Wesley: There are three things I love in this world: Kylie Minogue, small dimples just above a woman's buttocks... and the fear in a man's eyes when he knows I'm about to hurt him.
  • Badass Bystander: The villains' helicopter is taken down with the help of some driving range patrons.
  • Badass Driver: Allen. He learned it from Grand Theft Auto.
  • Battle Cry: AMEERRRICAAAAA!!
    Hoitz: Did you yell "America" when you hit the accelerator?
    Gamble: Nope, no. No.
  • Batman Cold Open: The movie starts with an epic action sequence, showing off the cops' badassary - before it's revealed they aren't the main characters of the movie.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Ershon is able to lose Wesley by convincing the crowd at his financial seminar to mob him with one simple sentence.
    Ershon: "Ladies and gentlemen, guess who gave me the secret to making my first million... That guy there!"
  • Benevolent Boss: Captain Gene Mauch is an overall pleasant and patient man who, more often than not, has to be the Only Sane Man in his precinct filled with gun toting manchildren, who he is able to deal with quite skillfully. And the only reason he is ever obstructive to Gamble and Hoitz is because he knows how in over their heads they are and how stupidly dangerous the investigation is.
  • Berserk Button: Gamble's ex-girlfriend, Christinith, completely flies off the handle when Hoitz mispronounces her name as "Christina".
  • Big Applesauce: The film takes place in New York City. Gamble, Hoitz, and their colleagues are all NYPD officers, and Hoitz is infamous within the department for having mistakenly shot Derek Jeter while on security duty in Yankee Stadium.
  • Binge Montage: An unusual version — rather than a Time-Compression Montage, there's a fake continuous shot in which the camera weaves through the slow-mo antics going on over the course of the evening (including a worrying number of incidences of Juggling Loaded Guns).
  • Black Dude Dies First: Danson and Highsmith have this happen to them early in the flick when one of their death-defying moments of glory goes horribly wrong. They leap off a building with no conveniently placed item to break their fall.
  • Black Helicopter: A very nice AS355 Twin Squirrel. Hoitz complains that because the gunmen have it, they're "cheating." The villains also use two unmarked (albeit white) vans.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: While he never provides a term to replace it, Ershon still gets very defensive about admitting that the stuff he offers Allen and Terry in exchange for letting him go are bribes.
    Ershon: (muttering) Not a bribe.
  • Blatant Lies: Ershon is adamant that offering ten million dollars to cops for not doing their job is definitely not a bribe, while Gamble insists that he wasn't a pimp.
  • Bloodless Carnage: To be expected in any comedy movie, but when Danson and Highsmith leap from a 13-story building thinking they will survive and the only thing to crack is the pavement, you know a line has been crossed.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Hoitz, half of the time. "I'm a peacock; you gotta let me fly!"
  • Book Ends: The narration by Ice-T includes a Title Drop at the beginning and end.
  • Born Lucky: Danson and Highsmith. Ultimately subverted when they jump off a building, expecting to miraculously survive somehow. They don't.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the beginning of the film Will Ferrell's character is convinced to do a "desk pop". When he fires his gun in Mark Wahlberg's apartment, he offhandedly says "Apartment pop". The Binge Montage even has a couple of "bar pops".
    • The flying peacock at the end of the movie.
    • After Ershon learns that Gamble calls himself "Gator," he is shown in prison wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of the University of Florida Gators.
    • After Gamble's car is found one of the things discovered in the personal effects is a note from "Dirty Mike & the Boys" informing him that they had an orgy in his car and thanking him for the space to do it in. Later on in the film, After Gamble gets kicked out by his wife, he and Hoitz meet them in person and prevent a repeat session.
    • A very short one since it’s only one scene later, but after Hoitz and Gamble’s bizarre encounter with Hal and Christineth, they’re sitting in Gamble’s car discussing the case when Hal and Christeneth suddenly show up and chase them.
  • Brutal Honesty: Mrs. Gamble is a little too forward about her sex life, even to her parents.
  • Bullet Time: A few times. The first happens at the start of the movie when Danson flies towards the crooks he's been chasing in a car, firing his gun, and yelling, "YOU HAVE THE RIGHT, TO REMAIN, SILENT! BUT I WANNA HEAR YOU SCREAM!", including the subsequent explosion.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Detective Gamble
  • The Cameo: Brooke Shields, Rosie Perez, Tracy Morgan and pro wrestler Billy Gunn were also at the Knicks game.
  • Car Fu: "It turned backwards, then it went upside down!"
  • Cassandra Truth: After a couple of botch-ups, the rest of the police stop believing Gamble and Hoitz.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: "Your hair is really soft!"
  • Chase Scene: It's a Buddy Cop Show movie. There are a few.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Faceback. May overlap with Brick Joke.
    • The jewelry store robbery.
    • The vote on the police pension fund.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bob. Just Bob. First, he gets yelled at by Terry just for asking him to come to a conference; then we see him at the board meeting, about to invest the police pension fund; then finally when Wesley is apprehended, he's one of the cops with their guns on him.
  • Chew Toy: In a way. Hoitz certainly thinks he's this, and life does dump on him a lot, but it's evident much of his misfortune is his own fault, and him being such a terrible person isn't helping things. Character development, however, does help by the end of the movie.
  • *Click* Hello: Done to a harmless clerk during the climax.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Both Allen and Terry. It's probably easier to list the characters who aren't.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Gamble doesn't seem to notice that he's irresistible to hot women, something which utterly perplexes Hoitz.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Hoitz tries to mock Gamble by saying he's a lion and Gamble's a tuna, Gamble goes off on a tangent about how tuna could beat lions in the water, and evolve ways to fight them upstream and on land.
    • When Sheila informs her husband that she's pregnant, his first question is "Whose baby is that?!" and reverts to his Gator persona.
  • Commander Contrarian: Partially subverted. Captain Mauch secretly knows the truth about the plot, but tries to stop Hoitz and Gamble precisely because he knows how dangerous it is. Further subverted in while Gamble and Hoitz give him no small measure of grief and force him to chastise them over and over, he's completely pleasant with them outside the office.
  • Covers Always Lie: Only Hoitz uses two guns one time, and not like that. Plus, not a single Desert Eagle appears in the film.
  • Cowboy Cop: Detectives Danson and Highsmith are the standard badass version while Detective Hoitz tries to be this and drags Gamble along for the ride. It's deconstructed with Danson and Highsmith as they both leap to their deaths in pursuit of the jewel thieves, cause millions of dollars in property damage over a very small amount of marijuana in their Establishing Character Momentnote  and Mauch notes that they weren't even particularly good at their jobs.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The end credits detail how Ponzi Schemes work, how the 2008 TARP bailout mostly went to corporations instead of people and how the wealth inequality between the rich and the poor rose over the years. Director Adam McKay went on to direct The Big Short, a movie about what lead to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Adam McKay played Dirty Mike.
  • Cringe Comedy: A lot of the humor in this film stems from watching the leads get injured, fooled or otherwise humiliated.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hoitz is a quick-tempered Manchild, but can identify Australian Special Forces at a glance and defeat several thugs in close combat. It's implied he was originally a skilled cop with a lot of potential but was sidelined thanks to a case of Once Done, Never Forgotten.
    Gamble: Can you imagine where you'd be in your career if you hadn't shot Jeter?
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Roger Wesley threatens to slice David Ershon's ear off with a butter knife. Ershon even lampshades it by saying, "Oh, that's blunt. Blunt's worse than if it's sharp."
  • Da Chief: Captain Mauch, who is probably the most mellow example imaginable. It's also not his main job, as he moonlights as a manager at a Bed Bath and Beyond.
  • Dawson Casting: Parodied. In a flashback to his college days, younger Gamble looks exactly like his older self. No attempts to hide his grey hair or wrinkles were made. invoked
  • Deadpan Snarker: Samuel L. Jackson, as expected.
    "Did someone call Nine-One-Holy-Shit?"
  • Deconstructive Parody: Definitely leans in this direction. In particular, Danson and Highsmith are presented as beloved jerk characters for satirical effect, and they are one of many elements that lead to Conversational Troping of cop movie tropes not fitting real life. Not to mention the message at the end to the effect of "Corrupt Corporate Executives are the real criminals".
  • Decoy Protagonist: The movie begins with an epic action sequence involving Danson and Highsmith, setting them up as Cowboy Cop Action Heroes, before they die a few scenes later. Than the narration fully concentrates on Gamble and Hoitz.
  • Death as Comedy: Danson and Highsmith's "jump" is played as nothing short of utterly hilarious.
  • Determinator:
    • Gamble's ex-girlfriend and her husband, who chase Gamble and Hoitz twenty miles on foot.
    • Danson and Highsmith jumping off a building chasing a bunch of thieves. The fall kills them pretty much instantly.
  • Desk Jockey: Gamble and Hoitz, for different reasons. Gamble is a forensic accountant, while Hoitz is stuck on desk duty after shooting Derek Jeter.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Danson and Highsmith cause insane amounts of property damage in the opening scene pursuing suspects over a very small amount of marijuana, something a reporter notes is only a misdemeanor at worst. In their (incredibly pitiful) defense, the goons were also carrying military-grade machine guns.
    • The Chechens really want to kill Ershon for owing them money.
  • Domestic Abuse: Downplayed. Allen Gamble isn't nasty per se (except for the instance when his old persona Gator takes over) just rather dismissive towards his wife, who he's utterly convinced is plain. It's later revealed he was deluding himself into believing this because he was afraid she'd leave him on account of thinking she's too good for him as he does.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Allen thinks Terry's disappointment in a "Female Body Inspector" mug is because he doesn't get the joke.
Gamble: "'s the FBI, right? It has the same logo, the same shield. And at first glance you're like 'Oh, it's just a mug that says FBI', but... but then at second glance you're like 'F-Female Body Inspector? Get outta town! This is outrage—'"
Hoitz: "SHUT UP!!"
  • Drives Like Crazy: Danson and Highsmith, who plow their car into a double-decker tour bus in the opening.
    Highsmith: (nonchalantly) I'm sorry, I was texting.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Danson and Highsmith are killed off not too long into the movie.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Subverted. Hoitz keeps thinking that all the crimes/criminals are drug-related when in fact they are white-collar financial crimes. Also, Danson and Highsmith cause millions of dollars worth of damage chasing after some guys who only have a small amount of marijuana on them.
  • Easily Forgiven: In the extended version, Derek Jeter has not only put the shooting incident behind him, but is working with Hoitz and Gamble now.
  • Edutainment Show: The end credits has a rather informative animated slideshow about Big Company corruption...with "Pimps Don't Cry" playing in the background, suggesting that Allen created it.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Gamble and Hoitz are called "Paper Bitch" and "Yankee Clipper", respectively.
  • Enhance Button: Not used within the plot, but sets up a Brick Joke: Gamble mentions at one point that he developed a computer program in his off time named "Faceback", that allows computers to create a reconstruction of the back of a person's head from a picture of them facing a camera (and Terry instantly points out that it sounds stupid — if someone's already facing the camera, what use is creating a picture of them from behind?). In the closing narration, the narrator mentions that the precinct's forensic investigators eventually figured out that the program could also work to reconstruct how a person's face looks like from a picture of them facing away from the camera.
  • Epic Fail: With Danson and Highsmith: "Aim for the bushes."
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: A helicopter. Also, the Escalade in the beginning.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Played for laughs.
    "Mr. Ershon, Detective Gamble and the officer who shot Derek Jeter here."
    • The Brazilian Woman is only credited as The Brazilian Woman.
  • Eyedscreen: kicking off the movie's climax from the boardroom (see Guns Akimbo above) onwards.
  • Funeral Cut: After Danson and Highsmith jump to their deaths chasing the perps, the scene cuts straight to their funeral.
  • Gang of Hats: Inverted. Terry and Allen go up against people in business suits so many times because the bad guys are business people.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Invoked, but subverted when Allen thinks that they're doing "Bad Cop/Bad Cop."
  • Good Policing, Evil Policing: Hoitz and Gamble, for all of their bumbling and Hoitz's cavalierness, perform a thorough investigation and try to stick to the rules. In contrast—in terms of morality and competence—the Cowboy Cop duo of Danson and Highsmith are reckless in their pursuit of criminals to the point of causing property damage and eventually getting themselves killed, while Martin and Fosse dismiss possible leads just to get a collar ASAP and make the news. At one point, Captain Mauch even dismisses the late Danson and Highsmith as inefficient idiots not worth remembering, let alone imitating.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Chechen version of "Dora the Explorer."
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Completely subverted. We get to watch Danson and Highsmith fall to their deaths, without any scene cut whatsoever, including when they hit the ground (though to be fair, there isn't much in the way of gore to begin with).
  • Guns Akimbo: While inside of a car being launched out of a double-decker bus into a building. And done later on by Hoitz during a boardroom shoot-out, sliding down a table on his back. Unusually for a movie, Hoitz actually shows the correct method of firing akimbo (yes, it can be done accurately), by aiming each gun independently before firing, instead of just pointing in the general direction of the target and firing both guns simultaneously.
  • The Heavy: Roger Wesley is for all intents and purposes the main villain. Nominally Pamela Boardman (who hired Wesley to keep an eye on Ershon and ordered Ershon to get back 'her' money) is the Big Bad, but she seems entirely detached from any actual direct machinations.
  • Hellish Copter: A helicopter gets taken out by a volley of golf balls.
  • Hero Insurance: Danson and Highsmith cause enormous amounts of property damage to catch low-level drug offenders in the opening scene of the film. When a reporter rightfully points out how unnecessarily destructive the chase was, Highsmith quickly shuts him up.
  • Heroic Bystander: When Hoitz and Gamble are being chased by a helicopter through Chelsea Piers, the golfers at the driving range help them out by shooting their balls at the copter and taking it out.
  • Hidden Depths: Hoitz says he did a lot of mocking kids who danced in his childhood, accidentally becoming a skilled ballet dancer in the process. In reality, he just says this to try to maintain his tough guy persona because he is a good ballet dancer, plays the harp, and is well-versed in modern art. He is also much more empathic than he would like to show. Note during the ballet scene he's inexplicably wearing jazz shoes.
    Gamble: Hey, I didn't know you can dance!
    Hoitz: We used to do those dance moves to make fun of guys when we were kids to show them how queer they were, okay?
    Gamble: You learned to dance like that sarcastically?
    Hoitz: Yeah, I guess...
    • Straight-laced Gamble acts that way because of a Dark and Troubled Past as a (literal) pimp in college. Now he's also a software expert.
  • Homage: David Ershon bandies the buzzword "excess" in his speech, just as Gordon Gekko did with "greed".
  • Hot Pursuit: Gamble and Hoitz (and Ershon) are chased all over Manhattan by the Chechens and other crooked people that are pissed at being victims of Ershon's Ponzi scheme.
  • Humiliation Conga: The list of all the disgusting things that happened to Gamble's car.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: The film has a really quite hilarious scene where the two protagonists debate over a fight between a tuna and a lion.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Allen. "Where did you learn to drive like that?" "Grand Theft Auto!"
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Some protagonists and antagonists seem to be star graduates. The boardroom scene is a highlight.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Hoitz can shoot down an overhead banner to take down motorcyclists pursuing him. Wesley can pull off three non-fatal shots in rapid succession at close-range (Though his skills of being an ex-special forces professional bodyguard did helped).
  • Insistent Terminology: Allen sure takes a long time to admit that he was a pimp in college. Ershon has a similar hangup with the word "bribe".
  • It Amused Me: When the bystander bank clerk asks Wesley whether or not he wants the transfer approved, he replies "You mate, I'm gonna kill just for fun.".
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Allen says this about Sheila's cooking (see Domestic Abuse above).
    • "Is that deer vagina I smell?"
    • "These braised ribs taste like a dog's asshole."
  • Jerkass: Detective Hoitz at the beginning is absurdly belligerent to everyone. He mellows out a bit towards the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Hoitz and Gamble are cops who are interested in upholding the law, but they're both kind of assholes. Hoitz has a short temper and is prone to snapping at people, while Gamble is emotionally abusive to his wife.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Gamble's "desk pop" scene, in which he is convinced to shoot his gun in the middle of the precinct, is played for laughs. The officers who talk him into it treat it as a big, hilarious prank, and at least one other officer can be seen high-fiving them afterwards. Likewise, the only repercussion from the incident is Gamble getting a fake wooden pistol to carry instead of his real one; as an added bonus, Captain Mauch also displays some poor safety habits when confiscating said gun.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Danson and Highsmith got away with pretty much all their destructive hijinks. Unfortunately for them, their Karma Houdini Warranty came up in the form of a self-inflicted twenty-story drop into some bushes—the bushes in this case being the cold, hard concrete sidewalk.
    • Pamela Boardman ends up getting a federal bailout since Lendl Global is too big to fail.
    • Martin and Fosse are utter douchebags throughout the movie but never suffer any major humiliation or suffering and indeed are implied to be filling in the "Super Cops" role in the eyes of the public that Danson and Highsmith left.
  • Kavorka Man: Detective Gamble is quite a plain-looking man who happens to be gigantic Manchild, yet his wife and ex-girlfriend are insanely attractive and successful women.
    Hoitz: Why are you with Alan? ...I mean- that's not what I meant, um, how did you guys meet?
  • Little Useless Gun: Literally. Gamble's real gun is replaced by a wooden prop, and then that's taken away and replaced with a rape whistle.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Arguably those songs Allen sings in the bar. Hoitz lampshades it by saying they're depressing.
  • Metaphorgotten: Hoitz expresses the belief that "I'm a peacock! You gotta let me fly!" Numerous characters point out that that doesn't make any sense, notably because peacocks can't fly but one does at the end for symbolism and Rule of Funny.
  • Mistaken for Exhibit: Terry's criticism of the table art piece first seems like a case of this, but it turns out he knows a lot about art. The other guests at the art show, however, mistake his rant for a performance art piece.
  • Monumental Damage: Trump Tower's lobby gets incinerated by an exploding Chevy Nova in the film's prologue. Danson and Highsmith at work.
  • Mugging the Monster: In retrospective, swindling European crime gangs to invest in a Ponzi scheme was not the best of ideas, as Ershon discovered the hard way.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers always show Mark Wahlberg's character playing the Straight Man to Will Ferrell's antics when in fact Detective Hoitz is just as crazy as Gamble, if not crazier. However, it's eventually subverted in that Hoitz is masking his gentle side with juvenile antics while Gamble's self-imposed control hides a borderline psychotic personality.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Averted and lampshaded, after a shop blows up a few feet from Hoitz and Gamble's faces, they lay half-deaf and in pain on the ground.
    Allen: How do they walk away in movies without flinching when it explodes behind them!? There's no way! I CALL BULLSHIT ON THAT! When they flew the Millenium Falcon outside of the Death Star and it was followed by the explosion, that was bullshit!
    Terry: Don't you dare bad-mouth Star Wars, that was all accurate!
  • No One Could Survive That!: At the start, Highsmith crashed his car into a building that seemed to be Made of Explodium.
  • Noodle Implements: Apparently Gamble wants to do something to Sheila involving a mannequin hand and a golf club with a shaving razor attached to it.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • "I thought I was gonna hafta shoot my way out... What are you gonna do, y'know, bar mitzvahs..."
    • Notably averted with the shooting of Derek Jeter. Then they bring it up enough to push it straight into Running Gag territory.
    • "I got so drunk last night I think I thought a tube of toothpaste was astronaut food!"
  • No Sympathy: Played for Laughs, when Hoitz has this response to the suicidal victim:
    Hoitz: Listen. We all know you're a scumbag, and nobody cares about you.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Subverted. Highsmith and Danson die when they jump off a building.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Terry once accidentally shot Derek Jeter.note  This gets brought up so much that his nickname around the precinct is "Yankee Clipper".
  • Only Sane Man: The Captain is the only one who knows that no one should imitate Danson and Highsmith.
  • The Plot Reaper: The two supercops die, so Hoitz and Gamble have a chance at being in the spotlight.
  • Porn Stash: When Gamble and Hoitz first go to Ershon's office, he's watching Hentai on his laptop, and has trouble turning it off.
  • Prison Rape: Alluded to when one of the jerkass detectives taunts Ershon- "I hope you like prison food." (Beat) "...and penis." It's the "tips for staying out of jail" cop, too.
  • Product Placement:
  • Random Events Plot: Most of the movie would have never happened if Gamble didn't bump into Ershon in the restaurant kitchen, recognize him, and arrest him for building code violations.
  • The Real Heroes: The Aesop of the movie is that the real heroes are the ones who genuinely make the world a better place and work behind the scenes instead of doing more harm than good and still getting in the paper for being big and flashy like Highsmith and Danson.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite being Da Chief and frequently chastising Hoitz and Gamble for their antics, Captain Mauch is willing to hear them out and tries to keep them safe. Notably, even after he's reassigned them both, he's perfectly cordial when seeing them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: What happened to Hoitz after he accidentally shot Derek Jeter. Becomes an Ironic Echo when it happens to both Hoitz and Gamble later on. While Hoitz learns to mellow out for the first time in his life, Gamble Took a Level in Badass.
  • Running Gag:
    • Captain Mauch unwittingly quoting lyrics from the band TLC with Detective Hoitz and Gamble's disbelief that he's doing it by accident.
    • Random attractive women being into Gamble (Except Terry's girlfriend). So far, we had his current wife Sheila, whom Hoitz notes to be "smoking hot" and is smitten by, his ex-wife Christinith who is still both romantically and psychotically crazy for him, The Brazilian Woman, Brooke Shields and at the end, Gamble says he lost his virginity to Heather Locklear.
    • Wesley and his fellow thugs taking Hoitz's shoes and Gamble's wooden gun.
    • Gamble's Prius being used for hobo orgies.
    • Hoitz's fascination with Sheila that causes him to repeat everything concerning her a few times. During a conversation with her husband, nonetheless.
    • Ershon's insistence that everything he offers Gamble and Hoitz to let him go is most definitely not a bribe.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Happened to Gamble after he almost died of a drug overdose, which frightened him enough to make him step away from his life as a pimp and become as straight-laced as possible.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Mild-mannered, hard-working and gentle Gamble and rude, hot-headed tough guy Hoitz.
  • Serious Business: What does Hoitz do, when he and Gamble are in shock after the nearby explosion and Gamble shouts that the destruction of the Death Star was all but realistic? Warn him not to bad-mouth Star Wars, of course.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Wesley to Ershon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The captain is named Gene Mauch.
    • The final Car Chase has a huge nod to Grand Theft Auto which Gamble namedrops when Hoitz asked when did he learn to drive like that.
      • Allen then performs a PIT manoeuvre — this move is actually required to complete the driving school in San Andreas.
      • When they are chased by bad guys, Allen says that there is a shortcut at the Chelsea Pier. Eventually, they end up on the fenced-off driving range. In GTA IV there is really a shortcut in this place.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Allen does this frequently, most notably Hoitz' rant about how much he hates Allen gets sidetracked into a scenario wherein tuna construct robotic land walking devices and begin hunting down and eating lions.
  • Smokescreen Crime: A heavily-armed crew robs a jewelry store in a heist that involves the use of a wrecking ball. However, the perpetrators' true target is an adjoining accounting firm which they snuck into and altered the books.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Foo Fighters' "My Hero" just before two "heroic" cops jump 20 stories straight into the sidewalk to their deaths.
    • Then there's the Grand Theft Auto style chase in the final act, set to "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas and the Papas.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: It starts with a Chevy Nova incinerating the lobby of Trump Tower. And it doesn't stop.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Gator for Allen.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • This is how Danson and Highsmith die early in the movie. You'd think that surely the two badass supercops played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson can survive jumping off a building, especially with epic rock music backing them up. Instead they slam into the ground and are killed instantly.
    • The Unflinching Walk doesn't work here. A single explosion leaves Gamble and Holtz knocked right back on their asses and with temporary hearing loss from the impact. Gamble even calls bullcrap on the whole "people can be unaffected by explosions two feet behind them" thing as a result.
    • After convincing the Captain to put them back on the case, one of the first things he tells Hoitz and Gamble is to stop trying to act "badass", saying that just because Highsmith and Danson did it, doesn't mean that's how you should act as a cop, going as far to call the postmortem duo "terrible cops"; case in point, Highsmith and Danson's destructive high-speed chase after the weed dealers, lead to millions of dollars worth of damages in contrast to the amount of weed the dealers had on them, which would've been considered legal in several other states. Martin and Fosse's attempt the emulate the duo only cements it as they were so focused on being badass that they didn't bother doing a thorough police investigation and missed evidence that implicated Wesley in Ershon's lawyer's murder.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: From the I Know Mortal Kombat example above when Allen performs the PIT Maneuver.
    Wesley: Someone's been playing Grand Theft Auto.
  • Take That!: Hoitz is told by a fellow cop that he should have shot Alex Rodriguez instead of Jeter.
  • Take Up My Sword: The entire plot of the movie revolves around cops who feel that it is their time to step up and prove themselves in order to replace the two heroes of the setting when they die in the line of duty.
    • Subverted in that, though Hoitz and Gamble ended up becoming heroes for exposing the white collar crime that was going to bankrupt the police pension fund, they don't become the heroic replacement super cops. They stay the Other Guys, who the film makes out to be the real heroes: the guys who don't look spectacular saving the day, but do it nonetheless.
  • Tempting Fate: D&H get themselves killed because they thought they could survive anything.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The two supercops.
  • There Was a Door: Our heroes crash the Prius through the garage door rather than let Ershon open it first.
  • Those Two Guys: Practically the movie's premise (if the title didn't tip you off). Ironically, it's the Jerk Jock pair, Martin and Fosse, who get this role.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Danson and Highsmith. Badasses? Indeed. So much so, that cheating death seems to be their calling card. And so, they decide to test just how badass they are by jumping off of a 20-story building to chase the bad guys. It ends just about as well as you'd expect.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Hoitz cools down considerably after spending an unspecified but implied to be quite long period of time stuck on traffic duty, which helps him reconcile with Francine. Zig-zagged with Gamble, who becomes more aggressive over time but also becomes more honest with himself about his relationship with his wife, which lets him eventually admit to her that he dismissed her as plain because he didn't want to confront the possibility that she was out of his league.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Zigzagged. In the unrated version, they parody modern art with a coffee table with junk on it (with a sale price of $500,000), then it turns out Hoitz understands the "artsy-fartsy" piece better than his artistically-inclined ex does and still thinks it's crap. Then his genuine tirade is critiqued and cheered on as if it was a provocative performance piece. invoked
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Allen and Sheila. No, really.
    Terry: Seriously, who is she?
  • Unflinching Walk: Averted, then immediately lampshaded.
    "How do they walk away in movies without flinching when it explodes behind them? There's NO WAY! I call bullshit on that!"
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Soup kitchen"
    • Averted with Gamble, who still calls it a "dating service".
      "That was no pimp... Pimps don't cry."
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Everyone in the precinct pretty much ignores every conversation that Gamble and Hoitz have with each other. Though one person reacts when Hoitz smashes his computer to the ground.
  • Villainous Gold Tooth: Allen had an entire golden denture during his days as a pimp.
  • Visual Pun: Hoitz and Gamble may have given the term "Driving Range" a new meaning.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Allen. "Is that a wastebasket?"
  • Watch the Paint Job: Boy, does that Prius suffer.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Captain Mauch swears he doesn't know he's quoting TLC.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Terry, Gamble and the narrator can't believe that Danson and Highsmith were crazy and/or stupid enough to just jump off a building when there was absolutely nothing to cushion their fall.
  • White-Collar Crime: The credits detail not only some of the legit (but often greedy or stupid) finances that got us into the credit crunch but also some of the now blatant criminality of some financial practices, such as a Ponzi scheme.
  • Wimp Fight: Martin and Hoitz's fight at Danson and Highsmith's funeral was nothing to brag about, consisting mostly of wrestling on the floor. Justified, as they had to keep quiet at the funeral.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Of the hero being willing to hit a villainess kind. We don't actually see Hoitz hit the Brazilian Dark Action Girl but he does so hard enough that she's still unconscious several minutes later.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Wahlberg's character seems to be forcibly trying to turn his life into a buddy cop action movie, and for the most part, he kind of succeeds, except for his insistence that the bad guys must be connected to drugs somehow.
      "This isn't Miami Vice!"
    • And Highsmith and Danson are, of course, not prepared to live outside a Bad Boys-esque action-thriller as evidenced by their infamous Leap of Faith to their deaths.
  • The Yardies: The drug dealers who Highsmith and Danson are tracking down at the start of the film are black men with dreadlocks, Jamaican accents, and Rasta caps. And they're armed with machine guns.


Video Example(s):


There Went Our Heroes

Highsmith and Danson the two best cops in the NYPD have grown to believe they are invincible.... turns out they aren't. Uses the "see the even but technically they aren't 100% confirmed as dead till the scene cuts to the funeral version" of the Funeral Cut trope.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / FuneralCut

Media sources: