||Will Ferrell's recent resume isn't anything to get excited about: Land of the Lost, Step Brothers, Semi-Pro, Blades of Glory. There's a sameness to all of them, not only in that the Ferrell characters are difficult to differentiate from one another, but that the comedy is tired and tepid. Fortunately, The Other Guys has a better grip on what's funny, exhibits solid comedic timing, and is generally more entertaining than tedious. Director Adam McKay has a stronger sense than some directors about how to best employ Ferrell's likeability and cluelessness (his two most disarming on-screen characteristics). McKay started with Ferrell on Saturday Night Live and followed him to the big screen, directing one of the actor's most consistently amusing feature endeavors, Anchorman. (Although, to be fair, he was also responsible for Step Brothers.)...The film's first 15 minutes are by far the most fun (and could be the best quarter-hour of any movie released this year), with Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock letting it all hang out. Jackson screams and shouts one-liners the way he hasn't done since all those fu**in' snakes got on the fu**in' plane. Is there anyone better at knowing self-parody than this man? The Rock, meanwhile, channels Arnold Schwarzenegger from Last Action Hero. Once these two are out of the picture, it becomes a lower-key, straightforward action-comedy, but McKay and Ferrell are smart enough to keep the set pieces fresh and diverse. Some, like Terry's befuddlement with Sharon's hotness, are effective, while others, like Sharon's mother playing the go-between, are less likely to provoke laughter. Comedic timing, as in the "Jersey Boys" snippet or the instance when a man tries to fly, is paramount. For the most part, the jokes have punch lines, which is too rarely the case in big-budget comedies...The Ferrell/Wahlberg matching is not among the screen's most inspired pairings. The two lack chemistry, and Wahlberg's capabilities as the "straight man" are dubious (although his reaction to the choice of the Little River Band as "psych music" is priceless). Aside from his recent supporting role in Date Night, Wahlberg hasn't done much comedy, concentrating his performances in the thriller and/or drama arena, and the lack of experience occasionally shows in The Other Guys. Nevertheless, the responsibility for being funny rests on the shoulders of Ferrell and, for the first time in several years, he is up to the task (with more than a little help from Jackson and Johnson).