Friday, January 10, 2014

2 Guns

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur.
2013. Rated R, 109 minutes.
Greg Sproles

We meet Bobby (Washington) and Stig (Wahlberg) Reservoir Dogs style, sitting in a diner having a fun conversation and planning a bank robbery. They also go to see Mexican Cartel boss Papi Greco (Olmos) in order to make an exchange of fake passports for cocaine. That doesn’t go quite as planned. Quickly, we find out that Bobby is not who he seems. He is a DEA agent and all of this is part of his plan to take down Papi. In his grand scheme, Stig is just collateral damage. He is to be arrested after the bank robbery. In reality, the robbery goes off without a hitch, because Bobby’s people fail to show. Additionally, what was supposed to be three million dollars, at most, turns out to be forty-three million. $43.125 million, to be exact. And everyone is trying to get their hands on it. Then, there is the little matter of Stig’s actual identity. Or who anyone is, for that matter. Basically, everyone trying to kill everyone else over this money ensues.

2 Guns hastily becomes one of those movies where all the good guys are dirtier than the bad guys, providing no safe haven for our heroes. The tougher task for the viewer is figuring out who isn’t crooked. The various angles from which the characters approach things plays out in elaborate fashion. Every few minutes gives us a new reveal which sends the movie careening in another direction. This is interesting for a while, but gets to be a bit much.

On the plus side, the movie recognizes where its strength lies. It is within the personas of our two leads. Denzel does Denzel and Wahlberg does Wahlberg. Turns out, the two have great chemistry. Together, they are just fun to watch. We laugh often at their exchanges and wonder why it has taken so long for them to work together. Because of them, as I am sure it was intended, the whole thing has a Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys vibe that works really well. Regardless of the plot’s machinations, we can enjoy watching two guys who appear to be having a blast.

The other major strength of 2 Guns is something true to the title. Between all the cheeky banter of the good guys and sinister posturing by everyone else we get lots of action. Things go boom real good and at fairly regular intervals. The best sequence, in my opinion, actually features our heroes squaring off against one another via car chase. Somehow this includes fisticuffs between them while both vehicles are moving. Please do not try this at home.

When all is said and done, 2 Guns is a fun movie that rides its two stars to whatever success it enjoys. We are spared their life stories in favor of the chatter that entertains us pretty well. As mentioned, this chatter is aided by the action. It all works to mask its over-populated and convoluted story and does a good job. If ever a movie could breeze by on charm and personality, this is it.


  1. Yes, yes, thanks goodness of Wahlberg and Washington, they made the film watchable. Though, Bill Paxton was pretty awesome too.

    1. Paxton was pretty awesome...and so was Edward James Olmos. The whole cast just makes it a fun flick.

  2. I really liked this one. Think Washington and Wahlberg are definitely it's best feature but the script also does well. The dialogue between the two and between Paxton's character and whoever he's currently threatening is tons of fun. I think the convolutions in the plot also work well for it. You're never sure who to trust and the heroes are constantly facing down the barrel of a guy.
    I wish this had gotten a sequel but I live in hope that we'll get to see one, one day.