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My threshold for comedies is a highly one-sided affair. I basically have one criteria that must be met: how would this movie go over in the firehouse after it’s 617th viewing? I also have a bit of a glitch when it comes to Will Ferrell movies – I like them more and more with repeated viewings, so that movies that I wasn’t enamored with at first (think Anchorman) become classics in my mind in a relatively short time. I don’t think that will be the case with the latest installment. I loved The Other Guys from the opening sequence right up until the credits began to roll. Watch the movie and you’ll see why that part ruins the irresponsible hilarity of the rest of it.

The opportunity to view the movie with self-professed local celebutante Chris Louzader gave me my first chance to watch and review a movie with an actual movie reviewer. She was gracious enough to allow me to tag along and annoy her by crinkling the popcorn bag every 15 seconds. It may be the last time she ever invites me, and I wouldn’t blame her.

I think a lot of people are going to go into this movie with a grudge against cop-buddy spoof-style flicks and I can’t say that I blame them: you’d be hard pressed to get me to endure another Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker installment. The bar seems to be set really high for people like Ferrell, and I’m shocked that people are expecting Morgan Freeman-style acting from a guy who’s responsible for the awesome website called “Funny Or Die”. He knows his genre, and he’s good at it and this seems to piss certain people (read: critics) off. Fickle, these people we call “people”.

There is a hilarious chemistry between Ferrell and Wahlberg that carries from their first scene, but they aren’t alone in their self-aware self deprecation: Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson begin the movie with bad-ass farce and nods to every macho cop-drama you’ve ever seen. It gets even better from there.

The plot is slightly laborious and I think this is intentional. You’re not supposed to be paying attention to the financial-crime scenario, you need to be watching a straight-laced Ferrell and a slightly unhinged Wahlberg work out the intricacies of  their enforced partnership. Eva Mendes, as the insanely hot wife of an unimpressed Ferrell, plays her role with equal humor. It’s as though all of the members are doing their very best to keep straight faces while delivering ridiculous lines. Michael Keaton, as the beleaguered Captain Gene, even manages to pull this off while making nonsensical references to the pop-group TLC without even knowing it.

If you’re gonna run an inside joke amongst your friends, it’s best if all parties can keep a straight face. The Other Guys pulls this maneuver off perfectly, and I laughed hard enough several times to invoke moments of snorting. That’s a win in my book.

Go see this movie with your friend who most closely appreciates your style of humor. You can take your spouse, but be prepared for them to eyeball you after the movie with slight disbelief, as though they’ve caught you singing along to Lady Gaga in the shower. They might not get the movie, and they’ll wonder why you’re proclaiming it to be comic genius. Don’t worry….I’ll understand where you’re coming from.

And yes, I expect to watch this movie more than a few times late at night in the firehouse.

Overall Movie Rating: A-