The basis for laughs is the obvious take-off on the cop/buddy action dramas, with laid-back, schmuckie Allen (Ferrell) paired off with hot-tempered, explosive Terry (Mark Wahlberg). It begins with one of those ubiquitous city chase scenes replete with screeching wheels around street corners, weapons aplenty, pile-ups of all-sized flaming vehicles, with our polished team of Martin (Rob Riggle) & Fosse (Damon Wayans Jr winning another for the precinct as they gain fame for themselves. (In truth, it's so well orchestrated it could be any traditional action flick, without laughs or parody.)
When that team's out of the picture, who should take over but deskbound Allen & Terry, sent on the track of a high-powered financial investor, Ershon (Steve Coogan) who leads them through a confusing, uninteresting plot until our guys bumble their way to victory.
As the captain that gets little respect despite his striving for emotional actor-of-the-year award in true McKay/Ferrell style, Michael Keaton is laughingly droll. There's a femme here, played by Eva Mendes as the sultry, bumptious wife of Allen - appreciated far more droolingly by buddy Terry than Allen does himself. (That's part of the joke.)
And that's about it; the focus is on the cast, its ability to improvise in deadpan fashion as they proceed from mundane desk work to violent action. This is a light, silly comedy with Ferrell & Wahlberg running away with the laughs for their screwball comic byplay.