This movie took me by surprise. Not because it was so good. I didn't expect it to be good, and it's not. It's acceptable entertainment, and it delivers laughs and good performances. I expected something like a less-quotable "Airplane." Maybe a "Hot Shots" type movie. And that's pretty much what it was...almost the whole time.
Most of the time it's a mildly entertaining, Saturday-Night-Live-sketch-level film. Every once in a while it shows a weird political bent that takes you off guard, like 40 seconds of dialogue where it sharply dresses down the SEC with a vigor that makes you think maybe the script wandered down a dark alley and got jumped by The Daily Show or Harry Markopolos. And just as you're thinking, "what just happened?" it drops you back into the anti-buddy cop sketch you were watching before.
But the coup de grace is the credit sequence, which out of nowhere becomes an animated statistics course on the history of financial fraud and lunacy. If you put these credits at the end of a Michael Moore movie, no one would think them out of place. A.O. Scott at the New York Times has a funny take on it in his review, here.
One website I saw denigrated the credits as somehow anti-capitalist. But I think you can be a healthy capitalist and still be pissed off that executive compensation has risen to an insane degree, or that some executive retirement packages could buy an island. I own way too many shoes to be a socialist, and it pisses me off that the SEC had their noses rubbed in Madoff's misdeeds over and over again but failed to investigate until Madoff had already out-Ponzi'd Ponzi many times over and his scheme actually collapsed under its own weight.
It was odd and unarguably gutsy, and I have to say, it's probably all I'll remember in a month about The Other Guys. Anyway, if you go, don't walk out on the credits--you're leaving money on the table.