Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Writer: Blake Masters
Cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos
Running Length: 109 minutes
Synopsis: For the past 12 months, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) and U.S. naval intelligence officer Michael Stigman (Wahlberg) have been reluctantly attached at the hip. Working undercover as members of a narcotics syndicate, each man distrusts his partner as much as the criminals they have both been tasked to take down.
When their attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and recover millions goes haywire, Trench and Stigman are suddenly disavowed by their superiors. Now that everyone wants them in jail or in the ground, the only person they can count on is the other. Unfortunately for their pursuers, when good guys spend years pretending to be bad, they pick up a few tricks along the way.
Review: 2 Guns is not a movie that strives to make much sense – in fact, one can say that the overplotted and clichéd script is actually the biggest negative of the film. What one can expect from the film, however, is great performances from the two leads, and an easy chemistry between the duo that’s of utmost importance in a buddy cop movie. That alone will not be able to elevate 2 Guns into a great movie, but at the very least it’s worth its price of admission.
The less that is said about the plot, the better – 2 Guns has an extremely convoluted plot, featuring way too many vanilla villains (say that fast three times) for its own good. The “buddy cop” dramatic device literally takes forever to set up, and although the interaction between Wahlberg and Washington is what sells the movie, the water is muddied with too many inconsequential plot threads that serve nothing but pad out the running time of the (not very long) movie. To add insult to injury, 2 Guns tries to wrap everything up nicely with a bow tie, but the journey to the denouement takes such implausible turns that it needs a full disengagement of one’s sense of logic to accept the plot developments.
Fortunately, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg make the proceedings much more bearable. Their banter is great and although the dialogue tends to branch off into the inconsequential, it’s consistently fun and the pairing works well enough. And although the villains are not really menacing (even when doing some Very Bad Things), the trio of Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos and James Marsden do manage to make a passing grade at least. Paula Patton, unfortunately, gets the role of the perfunctory hot chick with nothing much to do, but she does look amazingly hot while doing it so that’s a bonus for the target demographic.
There are no pretenses about what type of movie 2 Guns is – it’s not meant to be a serious commentary on corruption in the government, nor is it meant to be a taut thriller. It is meant to be an enjoyable, disposable buddy cop movie that moviegoers would not need to invest too much of their brain power when watching. If viewed from this perspective, then the film doesn’t do much wrong, even though the movie would have largely faded from memory on the trip back home from the cinema.
Rating: * * ½ (out of four stars)