What’s the old expression? ‘Two heads are better than one?’ Well, as true as that may be in certain contexts, it certainly doesn’t apply to this film. “2 Guns” – based on Steven Grant’s graphic novel of the same name – is a summer film which doesn’t exactly possess the ambition to be called a ‘summer blockbuster.’ While it features everything you’d expect from a summer film – action, a great cast and a touch of comedy – it doesn’t really live up to the hype that the presence of its two star-studded co-stars promises.
A Simple Robbery Made Complicated
Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) are two criminals out to rob a bank and run off with a nice payday – or so they think. The truth is that they are both working undercover for separate agencies – Trench for the DEA, and Stigman for NCIS – and that they’ve been told to use the bank robbery as a means to set up the other and take them down. Though when Trench and Stigman learn of each other’s true identities, they realize they are part of an even bigger plot in which they find themselves in the crosshairs of the CIA. Sound confusing? Believe me, it gets worse, but I’ll omit any spoilers in this review.
No One Can Get Along
Right off the bat, I want to say how much I enjoyed the chemistry between Washington and Wahlberg. I am a fan of both actors and to see them on-screen together was definitely a treat. Wahlberg is the more comedic of the two – delivering hilarious one-liners amid a boyish charm – and Washington plays the quiet, rugged badass that he almost usually is. They work so well with one another and play off each other’s charisma to such a point that they almost make you overlook the lesser qualities of the film… almost.
The film’s supporting cast are wooden, hollow and boring – save for Bill Paxton who plays a menacing CIA agent who stalks the two heroes- er… guns, for the majority of the film. Everyone else just doesn’t feel as up-to-par as they should be: Edward James Olmos plays an archetypical Mexican drug kingpin who’s really nothing we haven’t seen before; Paula Patton plays Washington’s colleague/lover but she’s nothing more than eye-candy for the casual viewer – who later becomes the clichéd ‘damsel in distress;’ and James Marsden plays a tough Navy Officer who doesn’t really fill the shoes of such a simple role. To summarize, they’re mostly there to round out the main cast so at least they do something right.
At Least the Action’s Good, Right?
For an action film, I was actually left disappointed by most of the action sequences; these were meant to be the cornerstone of the film but I just felt as if they lacked the necessary excitement and intensity to keep the audience gripped throughout. The dialogue isn’t anything to write home about and you’re constantly caught in the crossfire of so many twists and turns and such an accelerated pace that by the final frame, you’re still wondering what was going on a few scenes back. The plot itself is confused and confusing as, in reality, none of the agencies depicted in this film would dare to try any of the stunts they pull off here. But hey, suspension of disbelief, right?
“2 Guns” is a passable movie. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s not horrible either – it’s just stuck in that middle-ground of mediocrity. The characters lack any real depth and only show true emotion when the script calls for it and with an underwhelming and short finale, the film fails to elicit any sort of excitement from its audience. However, if you’re in the market for a near-end-of-summer popcorn-flick, “2 Guns” may be worth a shot.