Every now and again you watch a movie that could be great. You see something there, bubbling up under the surface but then it fades away and you only catch a brief glimpse of its greatness. 2 Guns is that movie. It has surprisingly great chemistry between it’s two leads, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, but is full of so many ridiculous plot twists and predictable action movie cliches that it falls flat. It never quite becomes the awesome crime film/”buddy-cop” movie that it wants to be.
2 Guns isn’t a bad movie necessarily, it just could have been so much more. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, who also directed Wahlberg in 2012’s Contraband, a film so forgettable, I honestly can’t recall anything about it. So at least Kormakur is headed in the right direction. Maybe his next film will be great.
Denzel Washington plays Bobby Trench, an undercover DEA agent trying to take down a drug kingpin named Papi Greco, played by Edward James Olmos. When his partner-in-crime Michael “Stig” Stigman, played by Mark Wahlberg, offers up the idea to rob a small-town bank, Trench jumps on the idea. He can bust Greco with the money in the bank and Stig for the robbery. They soon end up with more money on their hands than expected and Trench’s backup nowhere to be found. Making matters worse, Stig turns out to be an undercover Naval Intelligence Officer who double-crosses Trench, shoots him in the arm and takes off with the money. Stig himself is then double-crossed and soon Trench and Stig are forced to work together to retrieve the money they stole or die trying.
It gets a little ridiculous beyond that (if all that didn’t sound ridiculous already) involving corrupt Naval Officers, our two leads hung upside down with a bull charging towards them, and the CIA.
With all of its twists and turns, 2 Guns is fun primarily because of its two leads. It’s a buddy cop movie at heart. Washington and Wahlberg have a fun time riffing with each other and Wahlberg gives a great comedic performance. Bill Paxton steals nearly every scene he’s in as the ruthless true owner of the stolen money, and seems to be having a lot of fun doing so. Paula Patton plays Deb, who has real feelings for Trench, even if Trench doesn’t have them back, does a good job but her character is not much more than eye candy. She has two scenes in a row where she is in her underwear. Being the only woman in the movie, it’s evident who the target audience for this film is.
The writing and directing are average. Like I said before, the plot twists and turns are all ridiculous but the film is based on a set of graphic novels so I’m not sure who’s really to blame.
2 Guns isn’t a bad way to spend a weekend afternoon, but I’d save it for a rainy day rental.
I give it a B-.