BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 3, 2013
Without Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, “2 Guns” would be just another ridiculously plotted action film with telegraphed twists and nothing to grab your attention. Washington and Wahlberg’s pairing works perfectly, as their chemistry creates both tension and comedic relief from start to finish. Wahlberg embraces his character, Stig, a suave, ladies’ man with straightforward ideas, “fight for the man that’s fighting next to you.” Washington brings his usual persona to the table with Bobby Trench, and it works; sharp-eyed and intent, he carries himself with a higher caliber than all his surrounding counter pieces.
Unfortunately, the plot of “2 Guns” is laughable, turning the DEA, CIA, and Navy into crooks, killing each other on a whim, and parading around like the mob. There’s zero accountability, and besides dying, no one pays for their actions. Poorly written for, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, and James Marsden flail through their roles haphazardly, trying to keep up with the absurd plot. Patton’s character is the definition of a misused female role in an action film. One of the first times we see her, she’s naked, she’s just a pawn for the men to tousle, and her exit from the film is unforgivable. Paxton brings more to the table than I expected, with a convincing mob boss mentality, at least adding the sadistic nature and Southern accent to give his role some life, if not too much of a cartoon character villain. And despite his buzzed haircut, Marsden never feels like a commanding officer and delivers his villainous lines as if he’s reading them off a teleprompter.
The significant twists of “2 Guns” are telegraphed in the marketing, as we know Stig and Bobby turn on one another after robbing a bank but are forced to work together after their respected law enforcement branches turn on them. We also know the money belongs to the CIA, therefore rendering half the film catch up to the trailers. Despite its downfalls, “2 Guns” is a definitive action film with brilliant and blockbuster level action sequences, and even though it relies on its two leads, it works. Had the story around these characters been just as smart, this could have been a sleeper hit of the summer, but instead, it will be the film everyone expected it to be. Though it displays Wahlberg and Washington well, it does nothing to catapult their careers in any new directions.
August 2, 2013
by Steven Grant & Mateus Santolouco
(for violence throughout, language and brief nudity)
Edward James Olmos
Robert John Burke