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Desk jockey detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) stumble onto the heroic forefront in Adam McKay’s latest laugh fest collaboration (Anchorman, Step Brothers) with Ferrell.

With the brash bad boys of crime fighting, Detectives Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson), out laying waste to the criminal element and the city-at-large, it falls to the mismatched Other Guys to handle all of the paper work and the cleanup behind the scenes, which is actually the last place Hoitz wants to be.

Gamble ends up tagging along and discovers that he’s got a nose for more than the paper trail.

That description makes the whole affair sound like a routine buddy cop story and while McKay steps up the action, this isn’t a straight-ahead send-up of genre conventions. Ferrell and Wahlberg invest more time and attention on the goofiness of the characters and burrow past the laughs until something almost recognizable and real emerges. But these Guys and a cast that includes Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes and Steve Coogan still have to fire a barrage of shots to rip enough holes in the target so that it doesn’t matter whether all of them hit the bulls eye or not. Mission accomplished. Grade: B