**1/2 (out of 5)
August 2, 2013
Denzel Washington as ROBERT ‘BOBBY’ TRENCH
Mark Wahlberg as MICHAEL ‘STIG’ STIGMAN
Paula Patton as DEB
Bill Paxton as EARL
Fred Ward as ADMIRAL TUWEY
James Marsden as QUINCE
Edward James Olmos as JESSUP
Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
At its heart, “2 Guns” really wants to be a buddy cop movie. However, it throws so many road blocks in this path that the film fails to rationalize its own identity. The only thing that saves the film is the chemistry between its stars.
Well, that and Paula Patton’s breasts. But that’s for just one scene (and while I appreciated seeing them, they really couldn’t save an entire movie).
“2 Guns” follows two men working undercover. Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) works for the DEA, and he’s trying to take down the international drug lord Jessup (Edward James Olmos). Stig Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) plays a Navy specialist trying to confiscate drug money to be used to fund their own missions. The two end up double-crossing each other after accidentally stealing $43 million from the CIA. Bobby and Stig have to team up again to get the money back and get rid of Jessup once and for all.
It’s a little convoluted, and that summary doesn’t even begin to cover half of it.
Both Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are fine actors, and they have quite a bit of chemistry with each other. It helps to have their level of tongue-in-cheek acting to breathe life into the film. Oddly enough, they’re surrounded by other good actors (like Bill Paxton and James Marsden) who don’t do nearly as good of a job with the sardonically whimsical story.
Still, while Washington and Wahlberg are fun to watch on the screen together, they’re still phoning in their performances. Washington plays his too-smooth wise guy character we’ve seen recently in “Unstoppable” and “Safe House” while Wahlberg plays the kind-hearted buffoon we’ve seen in everything from “The Big Hit” to “Pain and Gain.”
“2 Guns” reminds me of other R-rated tongue-in-cheek south-of-the-border crime thrillers. It’s got the pacing and banter of a buddy cop film, and yes they are officers of the law. However, they are so far from the big city that the inevitable comparisons to “48 Hours” and “Lethal Weapon” just don’t click for me.
Instead, “2 Guns” reminds me of movies like “The Mexican” or “Get the Gringo.” And even as I watched it, the film reminded me even more of a crappy direct-to-video action movie with a bigger budget and A-list stars.
The biggest sin that “2 Guns” commits is that it is entirely forgettable. It’s not a fantastic movie, and the overwritten story spins around itself like a drunk five-year-old. By the end, the ambitious concept behind the ending ends up blowing up into a mess of script components and bad story ideas.
Still, if you’re a fan of the stars of the film, it’s enjoyable enough. But I wouldn’t spend top dollar for it.