2 Guns Review | The Movie Bit

2 Guns Review

Based on the comic book by Steven Grant, 2 Guns weaves Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg (teaming up with director Balthasar Kormákur for the second time after the lacklustre Contraband) into the usual buddy cop scenario for a fun take on the well worn formula.

Washington plays Bobby Trench, an undercover DEA agent working for a Mexican drug lord, Papi Grigio (Edward James Olmos) in an attempt to convict him. Undeknownst to him, and vice versa, his partner Mike Stigman (Wahlberg) is undercover Naval Intelligence with the same mission. When the two rob a bank they believe holds Grigio's money, they get caught up in a conspiracy that involves the Navy, the DEA, and the CIA, and have to reluctantly team up to save both their lives.

2 Guns works best when Washington and Wahlberg share the screen, the two displaying fantastic chemistry. Unsurprisingly, Washington is the straight man here, with Wahlberg again showing his knack for comedy, with Stigman a ball of manic energy that steals a bulk of the movies funniest moments. Their casting was a coup for this movie, and they both deliver great work here. It's a pity the other cast members pale in comparrison to them, with none of the other characters making much of an impression, especially Olmos and Bill Paxton, who seem wasted in the bad guy roles. When the lead pair are separated, the movie falls down somewhat, collapsing underneath the weight of the overcomplicated story. While it starts off well enough, it takes far too long with the set up, getting the pieces in place for the numerous crosses and double crosses. It comes to a complete stop in the second act, going through the motions and you are just left waiting for the inevitable shoot out between the stories many factions. The action, on the other hand, is fantastic, Kormakur showing a great knack for constructing a good set piece: manic, exciting, but shot through with a steady hand, so it doesn't feel like the camera was attached to hyperactive monkey.

Hampered when it has to focus on the story, 2 Guns is a whole lot of fun when Washington and Wahlberg share the screen, leading to an enjoyable addition to the long line of buddy cop movies.


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