Us Rating: **
Opens: Friday 8/6
Loser NYPD detective partners Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) are comic opposites: Fussy Allen dithers, while angry Terry simmers. The duo bicker, then get a chance at respect when they try to stop a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme run by a smarmy financier (Steve Coogan). Early on, the buddy pic generates some laughs. The scene in which Allen takes Terry to meet his hot wife (Eva Mendes), whom he calls his "ball and chain," humorously upends expectations. But the chuckles evaporate. A nutty dining-room duet between Ferrell and Mendes about pimps falls flat. Then, the scene in which the married couple -- unable to meet in the flesh -- employ her mom as a go-between to talk dirty lasts too long. Finally, the wacky car chases that amused at the outset seem like an imagination deficit by the end. Guys gone mild.