UK Release Date: 16th August 2013
Runtime: 109 minutes
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writer: Blake Masters
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton
Synopsis: Two seemingly mismatched individuals bond and work together when they become embroiled in a bank robbery that leads to a shady CIA conspiracy.
Summer blockbuster season is at its end and, with that finale, has arrived the disturbingly dull action comedy 2 Guns. It is only redeemed at all by Mark Wahlberg‘s genius as a comic actor and his easy chemistry with Denzel Washington, who is on considerably less depressing ground than in his Oscar-nominated last film Flight.
DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) and Naval Intelligence Officer Michael Stigman (Wahlberg) are both working undercover to nail a drug kingpin. Their alliance is holding because neither realises that the other is an undercover law enforcement official. Trench’s lover Deb (Paula Patton) is soon brought into proceedings, and CIA man Earl (Bill Paxton) soon reveals that there’s more to the situation than either undercover worker suggests.
Drawing heavily from the Big Book of Action Movies and Their Spoofs, the plot of 2 Guns is as formulaic as a buddy movie can possibly be. Almost every double cross is telegraphed way in advance, and those that aren’t seem largely unimportant, given that there’s always another reversal a few minutes away.
To begin with though, the film manages to get by just fine. This is mostly a result of Mark Wahlberg being arguably the finest comic actor currently working in Hollywood. His performance is effortlessly full of wit and charm. Coupled with Denzel Washington playing one of his first comedy roles, Wahlberg catapults the film into a fun first act.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for that chemistry to wear thin. Doubly unfortunately, it’s at this point that 2 Guns dissolves into a barrage of bland action sequences. Things explode, people get shot and Wahlberg quips a lot. None of these things prove to be especially entertaining and the initially intriguing conspiracy plot ends up as a fairly standard “governments are bad” message.
Somewhere, there’s an exciting action movie battling to escape from the DNA of 2 Guns. Unfortunately, it tries too hard to be broadly comedic and so the gags seem bolted on, rather than the organic gags that come out of a Shane Black script.
There’s no real meat to 2 Guns, but it’ll do well enough financially on the magnetism of its stars. Wahlberg deserves way better than this. It’s just as well then that his next movie is going to be…
It’s Transformers 4.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.