Officers PK Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson
) and Chris Danson (Dwayne Johnson
) are the most bad ass cops that New York City has ever seen. The movie opens with them engaged in a high speed chase creating a wanton destruction path of every block that they cross. They do manage to capture the criminals at high speeds. However the infraction they picked them up for was very minor and they manage to do a lot of damage. They are also hailed as heroes and are given the key to the city by the mayor.
Back at the station they're also greeted as heroes and treated like celebrities. There's several pairs of officers including Martin and Fosse, officer Bob (who makes announcements about banal activities at inappropriate times) and the other guys - Alan Gamble (Will Ferrell
) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg
), They're admired by Allen Gamble, a by the numbers forensic accountant who is very straight laced and doesn't take any risks. Gamble's partner Terry Hoitz disagrees and he's grown tired of his desk job and wants to see some real hard core action. To make matters worse, Gamble is duped into a prank by fellow officers Martin (Rob Riggle
) and Fosse (Damon Wayans Jr.
) by firing his gun randomly in the air and he has it taken away. Hoitz also had his gun taken away thanks to a past incident involving working security at game 7 of the World Series and shooting Derek Jeter (Derek Jeter
)in the process. Thanks to that incident, he has unwittingly earned the nickname "The Yankee Clipper". Gamble also has earned an unflattering nickname around the office: "Paper Bitch". At a support group for gun abuse Hoitz and Gamble don't know why they're there and Hoitz doesn't want to be there.
The next day Highsmith and Danson are called into the field. This case has them chasing suspects in a jewelry store robbery. Once again they're chasing a suspect robbing a jewelry store up a high rise. The robber manages to escape using a zip line, and to follow him, they're planning to jump off a high rise and into the bushes. Unfortunately they miss and hit the pavement instead. No one really knows why they decided to jump. They're given a heroes' funeral by the city of New York. Without their hottest officers, the department turns to Hoitz and Gamble instead. At the funeral Hoitz and Gamble nearly start a brawl with some of the other detectives while the Captain (Michael Keaton
). Hoitz decides that the void left by Highsmith and Danson needs to be filled and that someone is them.
Hoitz desperately wants a taste of action. But unfortunately as he's paired with Gamble, Gamble is obsessed with a case involving faulty scaffolding being installed at a construction site. But then they get a call about shots being fired and cocaine at the scene. Hoitz forces Gamble out of the office to take to the case. As they finally get some field work, Hoitz discovers that Gamble is even lamer than he originally thought. Their first taste of action ends incredibly poorly when Gamble floors the accelerator on his red Prius and crashes into the crime scene.
We are then introduced to billionaire investor David Ershon (Steve Coogan
). Hoitz is still demeaning Gamble about everything he does isn't manly enough. They also berate officer Bob about the company picnic next week. They then meet Ershon at the contstruction site. Gamble arrests Ershon but fails to read his Miranda Rights properly. While transporting Ershon back to the station, Gamble has an accident with some very suspicious people who then steal Gamble's Prius and kidnap Ershon.
Gamble and Hoitz decide that they need a fresh start while wandering the streets of New York City. Back at the station, they have a new case and that's to find out who kidnapped Ershon. Hoitz goes over to Gamble's house where he learns more about Gamble including the fact that Gamble has a super model wife named Sheila (Eva Mendes
) who also happens to be a well respected doctor. Gamble acts like it's no big deal. Gamble learns who stole his Prius and it turns out that when it was stolen some homeless people performed some very unspeakable acts in the back seat. They also find Gamble's lost iPhone. The group of homeless people is known as "Dirty Mike & The Boys". The bad news about Gamble's car just keeps coming.
The next day at a restaurant Gamble is showing off the smart phone app that he created that shows what a person's face looks like if you take a picture of the back of their head. Gamble and Hoitz then go to interview the next witness who also happens to be a former ex-girlfriend of Gamble's - another unbelievably attractive woman. However she is married and Hoitz manages to offend the woman by mispronouncing her name.
Hoitz really wants to know what Gamble's deal with hot ladies is. While sitting in the Prius, they get a message from Ershon. The next day while at a local bar singing about their woes, Gamble and Hoitz discover that Ershon is up to something involving the state Lottery and some suspicious activity. Hoitz then goes to meet with his girlfriend, a dance instructor, who it turns out he has some issues with. Unfortunately Gamble awkwardly shows up and makes things worse than they were.
The next day driving into the city, Gamble and Hoitz have an incredibly awkward moment which ends with another fight and Gamble playing his favorite music - the Little River Band. They go to the next stop on their list - another accounting firm - which ends with the store front they're going to exploding. Gamble is tired of the explosions and gun fights and wants to go back to his desk. Hoitz on the other hand disagrees and tells Gamble that life is loud and has incidents like this. Gamble then reveals about his past in college - he was essentially a glorified pimp. He made money working security for the college's attractive women and was very well paid. He attracted a huge group of women to his flock and earned the real nickname of "Gator". He decided to leave that life behind after an incident where he went to the emergency room and met Shelia, who he would later go on to marry and that's why he's as straight laced as he is.
After that they go to meet Ershon, back at his accounting firm. They confront Ershon about his penny pinching and they don't know what he's up to with the state Lottery but they definitely suspect that he's up to something, they just can't quite put their finger on it. Ershon offers them a bribe of court side seats to the latest Knicks game, but they don't know that it's actually a bribe. The next day Ershon ups the ante by offering them tickets to the musical "Jersey Boys".
Hoitz and Gamble learn that Ershon has employed some incredibly shady losses to cover his tracks on some bad investments. But Hoitz's aggressive tactics don't exactly earn him points. While at Ershon's offices they're confronted by some incredibly shady people in the parking lot. Hoitz and Gamble are then kidnapped and are being transported on a train in Gamble's Prius. They call the station and their captain where they tell them that they're in Las Vegas and were transported by train there. The captain then grills them about laying off Ershon despite that he's committed some criminal activity.
Back at the station, the captain is grilling Hoitz and Gamble about their investigation into Ershon Construction and Ershon's shady business practices. The captain has a change of heart and removes Gamble's wooden gun but gives him a whistle as a replacement. The captain then orders all the evidence they have on Ershon turned over to the FBI. Later they're given orders about the police pension fund and that there's a vote being held on it next week.
Hoitz then goes to his girlfriend's art gallery which ends extremely poorly when he manages to trash a piece of very expensive modern art - which he doesn't know is modern art. Meanwhile at Gamble's house, he is discussing the case with Shelia and that he's essentially done with that. Shelia reveals that she's pregnant and that causes Gamble to get in a fight, which she then kicks him out of the house. Later the next night, Gamble and Hoitz decide that they're both depressed about their troubles with their women and don't know what to do next. They're also confronted by Dirty Mike & The Boys. After that they decide to go on a bender to end all benders.
Hoitz and Gamble then go to interview the next witness - who happens to be Ershon's lawyer. Unfortunately they accidentally hand all of the evidence they've gathered against Ershon over to him. Back at the station, Hoitz is extremely angry about the fact that they just handed over all the evidence. They then get a call over the police banner about a possible jumper from a high rise. Gamble tells Hoitz that he has previous experience about hostage negotiation. But it ends rather poorly when Gamble gets on the PA and has an extremely poor choice of words that has the jumper jumping. The jumper also happened to work for Ershon.
The incident has Gamble and Hoitz losing their partnership and they're then demoted. We hear a monologue from Highsmith about what a man has to do to pick himself up once he gets his ass kicked. Gamble is still obsessed about the conspiracy theory involving Ershon and the lottery. Gamble thinks that the jewelry heist that Danson and Highsmith were chasing was actually a distraction for an even bigger robbery taking place behind the scenes. He investigates exactly what the thieves were doing when they took such a small amount of diamonds and escaped using a 20 story military grade zip line. They're them demoted and reassigned to traffic duty while other officers are glad to be taking over the case. While on the beat, Hoitz and Gamble both discover that there's other links to the case. Hoitz and Gamble then reunite and decide that to get back on the boss's good graces that they really need to go after Ershon. Gamble reveals that Ershon is covering his tracks by using two accounting firms and that he needs to be arrested for grand larceny. Hoitz tells Gamble that he's no longer interested in the case and that he enjoys working traffic. Gamble then forces Hoitz at gun point that he needs his partner to be on his case.
Hoitz and Gamble then go to confront the captain while working at his alternate job at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, the captain is working the second job to pay his son's obscene college tuition. Hoitz and Gamble formulate a plan to take down Ershon by confronting him at his construction company. At Ershon's company he is having a meeting with his stock holders about the company's future. One of the investors happens to be fellow officer Bob, who they berated earlier about a proxy vote. Hoitz has come to a revelation that they're targeting the police pension fund. It turns out that Gamble was right with his theory that the jewelry heist that Danson and Highsmith were chasing was just a distraction for an even bigger robbery that was taking place behind the scenes involving Ershon. At the vote, Hoitz is stunned to learn that fellow Officer Bob is a part of the vote. Hoitz then comes to a shocking revelation that Lendel Global is targeting the police pension fund and that they stand to profit handsomely if the vote goes in their favor. A massive shoot out ensues. They get in a car chase involving Ershon and Gamble's completely destroyed Prius while his lame taste in easy listening music prevails.
Ershon then reveals his involvement in some incredibly shady activity. They then take Ershon to his very small apartment. Ershon reveals that a money transfer is going to be involved and that the money involved goes directly to the police pension fund. Gamble then goes to reconcile his differences with Shelia, while Hoitz goes to reconcile his differences with his girlfriend. Hoitz desperately tries to pick up Gamble's girlfriend while they decide that either of them doesn't know what is going to happen the next day. Gamble then goes to his house and reconciles with Shelia. Meanwhile officers Martin and Fosse are lecturing a class of school children about poor decisions they will make in their lives and follows the call from Gamble and Hoitz.
The next morning it's time for the bank transfer. Gamble of course has the proper sound track and his lame taste in easy listening music once again prevails. Gamble then shocks everyone with some high speed driving in his Prius. But it ends badly when they get into a horrific accident. But they then survive thanks to Gamble's jack knifing abilities. Meanwhile some of the other officers are giving a lecture to some school kids about how police work isn't proper action and decide to bring one of them along. It ends rather poorly when a helicopter starts shooting at the Prius and the ride along gets in an accident following Hoitz and Gamble. They're followed by a huge flock of police cars but manage to escape by hiding in a double level parking lot. Ershon is then pursued by another group of shady people. The chase ends with them on a golf course driving range and they manage to destroy the helicopter, but unfortunately it also destroys Gamble's Prius. The other officers are also in pursuit of Ershon and manage to get to the transfer before it happens. They hold the investors at gun point and manage to arrest everyone involved.
Ershon is arrested and taken into custody. It's revealed that he is using his time in prison to make investments and further his shady accounting practices. Hoitz and Gamble are hailed as heroes for their ability to bring Ershon to justice. Thankfully Gamble's smart phone app was able to nail most of the criminals involved in the transfer. Hoitz manages to marry his girlfriend and wanted Shelia to be his best man, but she declines for very obvious reasons. While getting food at Nathan's on Coney Island, Gamble and Hoitz are greeted by none other than Derek Jeter. Jeter tells Hoitz that he was setup the night he was shot, and gives them their next assignment. Their next case involves the biggest shady investment firm in the world - Goldman Sachs - and where Gamble once again manages to attract another hot woman. While leaving Hoitz very badly wants to know what Gamble's secret is, and Gamble reveals who he lost his virginity to - none other than supermodel Heather Locklear. The film ends with a monologue from Highsmith about how every police department is the same - you have your star officers. You have your 9 to 5 officers. And then there's these guys - the other guys. During the credits we are shown a slide show presentation set to the tune of Cee Lo Green's "Pimps Don't Cry" about billionaires, income inequality, stock swindlers and Bernie Madoff.