Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg team up for the new buddy action comedy, 2 Guns! But is the movie worth your time or is it one to avoid in a crowded summer season? 411's Jeffrey Harris checks in with his full review!
Directed By: Baltasar Kormakur Written By: Blake Masters; Based on the comic by Steven Grant Runtime: 109 minutes MPAA Rating: Rated R
Bobby Trench - Denzel Washington Marcus Stigman - Mark Wahlberg Deb - Paula Patton Quince - James Marsden Earl - Bill Paxton Papi Greco - Edward James Olmos Jessup - Robert John Burke Admiral Tuwey - Fred Ward
Rounding out the final days of the summer season comes the buddy action flick 2 Guns, a yarn based on a Boom! Studios comic created by Stevn Grant. The story pits the duo of Bobby (Washington) and Marcus (Wahlberg), two oddball, mismatched cons who are actually not cons at all. Bobby is a deep undercover DEA agent working to bring down a Mexican drug cartel kingpin, Papi Greco (Olmos). Marcus is a Naval Intelligence officer charged with infiltrating the same cartel.
Bobby, not realizing Marcus’ true identity, decides to go along with a heist to rip off Papi Greco’s apparent cash stash at a bank. The heist goes off without Bobby receiving the help of his DEA colleague and sometimes friend with benefits, Deb (Patton). The bank was also holding a lot more than the small cash stash they were expecting. Marcus ends up shooting Bobby and takes the money back to his commanding officer, Quince (Marsden). Quince promptly betrays Marcus and takes the stolen money. As it turns out, Bobby and Marcus were both double-crossed and tricked into robbing the bank. Unfortunately, the bank was not Greco’s cash stash, but the slush fund for corrupt CIA agent, the charismatic Earl (Paxton).
Strictly speaking, 2 Guns is pretty average, ultimately predictable action fare. The material is slightly elevated by the charisma and interaction of Washington and Wahlberg. The two do share good chemistry. The movie picks up when the pair are inevitably brought back together was they are being hunted by the drug cartel, the CIA, and the Navy. Washington’s Bobby is clearly the brains of the operation, though the unassuming Marcus is more clever and resourceful than he seems.
Bill Paxton also puts in a fun performance as the dastardly, sadistic Earl who enjoys torturing his enemies a bit too much. Paxton is a good example of the acting performances elevating the rather derivative material. Besides, Wahlberg and Washington, he has the most fun standout performance in the film. Patton as Washington's lady, Deb, is gorgeous and doesn't mind appearing nude, though her character is fairly thin and doesn't have much to do other than a rather unpredictable and unfulfilling twist.
Director Baltasar Kormakur at least gives the movie a fun, on the border setting which you don’t often see in movies like this. The movie has a very rustic, dusty blue-collar look and style. It gives the movie almost a type of Western edge to it. He shoots fast-paced and hard-hitting action scenes in small spaces without calling attention to it.
The movie loses steam because the material is very derivative and you can predictably tell where the story is going from the first act on. Writer Blake Masters telegraphs a lot of the big surprises. Even the big shootout finale is uninspiring and has all the beats covered for this type of story a million times before.
The 411: 2 Guns is a solid and decent if unspectacular action flick. The material isn't exactly groundbreaking, but the two lead actors are clearly having fun and play off each other well. The film is worth a matinee price or would likely play better as a Netflix or Redbox rental better rather than a full price movie ticket.