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[tab title="Movie Review"]

2 guns - Movie Review

3 stars

Why is 2 Guns, a film that features cops with guns, Navy officers with guns, CIA Agents with guns, and hoodlums with even more guns, called 2 Guns? After all, there are far more than just two guns. The answer lies in its two leads who pack enough firepower to lift up this otherwise under-executed buddy cop film.

To be totally fair, it’s not so much what everything else in the film lacks as much as it is how the tremendous chemistry between Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington makes everything else seem lacking.

Working from a refreshingly retro script by screenwriter Blake Masters, who in turn adapts from Steven Grant’s graphic novel, the pair rattle through their rat-a-tat-tat dialogue like the best of married couples. Wahlberg and Washington are Naval intelligence officer Stig Stigman and DEA agent Bobby Trench respectively, who have been inadvertently attached at the hip as members of a narcotics syndicate. Of course, the rub here is that neither knows of the other’s secretive background. The story gets a lot of its drive from this sit-com-like dichotomy where everybody in the story thinks they know what’s going on, but actually nobody knows what’s going on… including, quite often, us.

We first meet the pair as they’re staking out a small town bank situated near the U.S./Mexico border. The plan is to swipe the $3 million belonging to Mexican drug kingpin Papi Greco (Edward James Oleos) that is stashed away inside the safe deposit boxes within the bank’s safe.

Things get complicated for the pair, however, when the plan doesn’t go down exactly as planned. Well, the robbery actually does go down as planned, but it’s when they discover their haul to be more than $40 million, rather than the $3 million, that they realize there’s something bigger than Papi’s cartel interests behind the huge stash of cash. And things get far too complicated for the audience, as well, when the labyrinthine plot begins to cross, double-cross, and even triple-cross itself into something far more difficult than it has to be. Pulling the rug out from under us a few too many times begins to eventually kill the element of surprise and erode our trust in the story being told. But there’s always the magnificent cast of characters at the heart of the film’s tangled web of double-dealing to save the day.

It’s kind of an anti-buddy story about two seemingly different characters whose journey is the way in which they find their way to each other. Stig and Bobby don’t want to even be in the same zip code with one another, but when forced to work together, they learn something about each other and themselves in the process.

Fortunately, director Baltasar Kormákur knows when to just step out of the way and let Wahlberg and Washington run with the ball. Wahlberg’s Stig is a fast-talking sharpshooter who is as awkwardly charming as he is cunning. He prefers to work without a plan, whereas Washington’s Bobby is a bit more calculating, having spent the past 12 months meticulously infiltrating Papi’s Sonora-based drug empire. Seeing these two work together and experiencing the camaraderie they display is enough to make us not worry so much about many of the film’s other shortcomings, including somehow getting away with the not-so-brilliant gate crash of a Navy base. Can anybody shoot straight?

Borrowing much of its look and feel from film history’s old westerns, 2 Guns comes alive visually with the wide open spaces of New Mexico standing in as the Texas-Mexico border region and New Orleans hosting most of the intense action sequences. There’s a cool No Country for Old Men ambience that mostly works, allowing us to feel the heat and smell the sweat, but that pesky, overly-complicated script always manages to underwhelm when it tries too hard to be like something Tarantino might put together. Adeptly navigating the explosive (literally) set pieces called upon by the screenplay, Kormákur gets a pass, while Wahlberg and Washington always deliver on the comedy and drama. 2 Guns is violent, nasty, and definitely worthy of its hard R rating with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’s Paula Patton taking at least partial responsibility.[/tab]

[tab title="Film Details"]

2 guns - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for violence throughout, language and brief nudity.
109 mins.
: Baltasar Kormákur
Writer: Blake Masters
Mark Wahlberg; Denzel Washington; James Marsden, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton
: Drama | Crime | Thriller
2 Guns
Memorable Movie Quote: "I got a plan. I mean, I'm capable of coming up with a plan."
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date: August 2, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.

Synopsis: A DEA agent and a naval intelligence officer find themselves on the run after a botched attempt to infiltrate a drug cartel. While fleeing, they learn the secret of their shaky alliance: Neither knew that the other was an undercover agent.[/tab]

[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

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