Cinema Scoop  

Denzel and Wahlberg load up in '2 Guns'

I don't think that you can go into a movie with an uninspiring title such as "2 Guns" and expect to get anything with a whole lot of depth and meaning to it. With its copious amounts of violence and endless gunplay, a more appropriate title might have actually been "200 Guns," but that doesn't change the fact that this is still a fairly standard, formulaic action picture that isn't really bringing anything new to the table. If there is any reason to see this latest entry in the buddy cop genre at all, it's the charisma of its two leads, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, as well as some stellar supporting performances by Edward James Olmos and Bill Paxton. I think that if you are a big fan of either Washington or Wahlberg, you'll likely find enough here to entertain you, and if it's middling, generic action that you seek then you are sure to be satisfied with 2 Guns. I, on the other hand, found this film experience to be somewhat forgettable. Oh well!

When we are first introduced to Bobby (Washington) and Stig (Wahlberg), they are planning to rob a small town bank of $3 million that is supposedly stashed in a safe deposit box and belongs to a Mexican drug lord named Papi (Olmos). Upon entering the bank vault, they discover that it contains a whole lot more than they anticipated and they make off with over $43 million. Naturally, it doesn't take long for Bobby and Stig to turn on one another and we learn that both men are undercover agents working with individual agendas in mind. It turns out that Bobby is a DEA agent who has been working to bring down Papi's organization and Stig works for naval intelligence, who have instructed him to retrieve the cash for his boss (James Marsden). They both thought the other was a dirty cop, when in fact they are following the orders of some corrupt higher ups. Of course, the question on both of their minds is where did all of the extra cash come from and who does it belong to? This brings us to Earl (Bill Paxton), a particularly creepy and psychotic villain who isn't above torture and other heinous acts and relishes the sight of watching his victims play his new version of Russian roulette. I won't say who Earl is affiliated with, but it won't come as a massive surprise, that's for sure.

Once Bobby and Stig settle their differences and realize that they are working towards a common goal, they agree to team up to get to the bottom of this plot and try to figure out who's truly on their side and who wants them both dead. What follows is a series of action sequences, shoot-outs, double crosses, backstabbing and plenty of so called witty banter between Bobby and Stig where they mock each other relentlessly. Hey, what's a buddy cop movie without the two leads constantly making fun of one another? Some of the material works and is humourous, while at times I just rolled my eyes. I will say that Washington and Wahlberg do have a solid antagonistic chemistry together while they're engaging in their verbal sparring. 

Director Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband) keeps the action flowing at a fairly good pace. I was never really bored at any point during the film, but I did find some of the plot to be a bit overly convoluted. I suppose this was done to keep the audience off balance so as to never be too sure of who was doing what, but it didn't quite gel properly and when all was said and done, I just ended up shrugging my shoulders in indifference. Some of the shoot outs were a tad too over-stylized for my taste as well, with the slow motion camera tricks that have become commonplace in today's action films. It should come as no real surprise given its title that this film glorifies gunplay and plays perfectly into the wheelhouse of America's current climate and their obsession with loving thy gun over thy neighbour. Like I said earlier, this film isn't breaking any new ground.

Overall, I enjoyed certain aspects of 2 Guns but thought that in the end it didn't really add up to all that much. The cast was uniformly strong throughout and there was some fun action in it, but I felt like I've seen all of this before and I doubt that this is a movie that I will ever feel compelled to revisit again in the future. If you are an action junkie then I have a feeling you may enjoy this one more than I did, but I think that there are better ways to spend your time at the cinema. It's up to you how you choose to spend your dollars.

I give 2 Guns a 5.5 out of 10.

More Cinema Scoop articles

About the Author

Just to give you a little background on my qualifications, I've been a film buff my whole life and I enjoy all different genres.

I especially have a passion for classic cinema.

I spent most of the past 17 years working for Rogers Video, so not only have I seen an immense amount of movies, but I've recommended many films to people over the years.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories