Review: 2 Guns
Unbeknownst to one another, two partners in crime are in fact undercover agents. One works for the DEA, the other the Navy, and both are trying to swindle a Mexican drug lord. Of course, the people above them aren’t to be trusted either. A bank robbery goes wrong – in that it went incredibly smoothly – and so the two must work together when it seems just about everyone is after them and their heisted money.
Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington are the two reluctant partners, shooting at their enemies, their colleagues, and each other. Bill Paxton is one of those in pursuit, and he sure is creepy. And insane.
2 Guns, as a title, is evocative. It’s bold, direct, and vague, yet somehow familiar. It’s either blissfully ignorant of the current state of gun violence sensibility, when some films are careful not to be seek to promote weapons, or deliberately acting in spite of it.
The film itself is just as momentarily shocking and equally unimaginative, but follows with a messy and vacuous story punctuated with witty barbs, a touch of charm, and lots of bloody, violent endings. And there are, as one might expect, far more than just two guns.
The initially naïve partnership of Stig (Wahlberg) and Bobby (Washington), both undercover agents unaware of the other’s true identity, becomes an alliance when at least three different parties (it’s hard to keep track), want their heads along with the money they stole – $43.125 million to be exact. Stig has a way with words and women, winking at cute waitresses and schooling wannabe gangsters in how to shoot, while making them abruptly aware of how ugly or fat they may be. Bobby meanwhile, smiles with two gold teeth, and Washington cleverly has a way to portray Bobby as almost in control – he’s rarely in control.
Both men act without plan in mind, as they ram head first into whatever is in their way, with guns-a-blazing. Following them is a vicious drug lord who beheads his own men and commands a powerful bull, a deranged Navy Officer (James Mardsen) and his crew, and a psychopathic shoot-first and shoot again C.I.A agent played delightfully sadistically by Bill Paxton.
They all have guns – lots and lots of guns – and so does Paula Patton, the only female in the film, who plays a colleague and lover of Bobby. As a woman, though, she is given the job to appear in a state of undress and later required to be kidnapped.
It’s no surprise (especially if you’ve seen the trailer), and despite being a film where people are constantly playing one another, nothing else is a surprise either. Wahlberg, who continues to be the most entertaining part of bad films (Ted, Pain & Gain), has a sharp tongue that produces guttural laughs. His foul mouth elicits the kinds of reactions that the film wishes to, but the generic violence, to which many have likely become very desensitized too if not simply over, doesn’t do much.
2 Guns wants to be more sinful, more startling, but it lacks imagination, and is only saved by the effusive charm of its two leads. At one point Wahlberg yanks out his gun to quickly dispose of some detained farm animals. It’s shocking, and stupid, and may be the most memorable scene in the film. And that’s a bad thing.
Should You See It?
The trailer has pretty much everything you need to see, save for a couple very dirty jokes from Mr. Wahlberg and some gratuitous shots of the sultry Ms. Patton.