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Sunglasses. Mexican standoffs. Bank robberies. Shooting chickens’ heads off. What more could you ask for in an action-packed summer romp? Maybe something a little less routine, that’s what.
Find out why 2 Guns may leave you a little wanting after the jump…
Though not intrinsically a bad film, with enough action and comedic banter to please just about anyone—and for their part, Denzel and Mark do a decent job—the pros may not be enough to save you from the subtle yawn that begins to creep up while you sit there and realize you’ve seen the film many times before.
In 2 Guns Robert ‘Bobby’ Trench (Denzel Washington) and Michael ‘Stig’ Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) both play undercover officers who don’t know the other is an undercover officer. After an unsuccessful drug exchange with a Mexican kingpin leads to a failed conviction, the two switch to robbing a bank safe full of the drug lord’s money so that they can bring him in on money laundering.
Things go awry when Trench and Stigman come to find that they have successfully stolen $43 million rather than the expected $3 million. When other parties come looking for the stolen cash, it becomes a chase-the-money scenario with Trench and Stigman discovering how much bigger, and higher up, the links to the money go—all while uncovering the truth behind their unstable relationship.
Like any good buddy-cop type of movie, 2 Guns really shines whenever Washington and Wahlberg share the screen together. They have great chemistry and you can tell some of the best lines were improvised. Though their ribbing gets a little ridiculous at times given their particular circumstances, it provides a good balance to the regular violence and obligatory explosions—which read more like an 80s action flick and less like the Michael Bay-esque trend of late (whew).
Since The Departed, Wahlberg has certainly found a good niche as a comedic actor who packs a punch. And Denzel Washington is, well Denzel Washington. Ever the badass with a warm heart, he smiles just before he kicks you in the nuts. While not a stray from most of his films, it’s a persona of which he’s perfected the execution.
The other actors do a decent job as well, except maybe Paula Patton who plays Deb, Washington’s love interest. Her turncoat portrayal is a little unconvincing and you’re not really sold on her true motivations.
While 2 Guns has its redeeming moments, overall it’s a redundant formula that has already run its course…many times. Though the buddy-copy genre has had wild successes and has garnered tons of fans, it’s kind of like alcohol: the more you’ve had it, the less it has an effect on you. Just hope you haven’t seen 21 Jump Street, 16 Blocks, Bad Boys, Men in Black, Se7en, Starsky & Hutch, Tango & Cash, or any other similar film in a while because you’ll have a high tolerance and may not get much out of 2 Guns. Sure, the film is a little different because the two main characters don’t know they are “buddy-cops,” but they still act the same way they would if they did. So it’s really not a deviation from the formula.
Aesthetically, the movie is decidedly gritty, but again mimics every other recent crime movie pretending to look “real.” It’s always hot, bright outside, dark inside, and everyone always looks wet with perspiration. It should be noted that Washington’s movie contracts require that he wear shades, panama hats, bling, and Tommy Bahama shirts.
You’ll probably leave thinking the film wasn’t that bad. And it wasn’t. If you like adrenaline, it’s a better genre pick this summer than The Heat (for obvious reasons) and definitely trumps R.I.P.D. (for even more obvious reasons). Perhaps sifting through the mediocrity for something that’s a just tad better is all we should expect from Hollywood anyway.
If you miss it, it will probably be on FX or TNT in a year anyway, right after Training Day and the Other Guys.