Denzel Washington sure did make a nicer partner to work with here than in “Training Day.”
Director Baltasar Kormakur’s new film “2 Guns” follows a pair of men, Bobby (Washinton) and Stig (Wahlberg), who appear at first glance to be criminals. The two decide to rob a bank and after they do, it’s discovered that both aren’t who they said they were.
Bobby turns out to be a DEA agent and Stig happens to be a naval intelligence officer. To make matters worse, they find out that the money they stole, both doing so as part of their own investigations, turns out to belong to crooked members of the CIA. The lead CIA agent, Earl (Paxton) is now after the both of them, as well as other forces out to get the money they took.
The story of “2 Guns” could have used a lot of simplification. The movie seemed to have a good idea, however, it was like a lot of extra things were poured on. The film suffers from just having to many things going on, with all kinds of double crossing and extra unnecessary villains. To make matters worse, there is never any real pay off for all of these stories. There’s never really a feeling of mystery as to what’s really going on.
What helps carry the movie from the beginning to the end is the chemistry between Washignton and Wahlberg. Both actors bring their own charisma to any film and it is no different here. They work really well together on screen too and a sense of camaraderie does build through the run time. However, this is more due to the talent of the actors than the actual dialogue.
Going over the villains, the best by far was Bill Paxton, and he should have been the only one. Paxton plays the villain Earl very menacingly. There is a fantastic scene where he and Washington have this exchange while playing Russian Roulette that is simply gripping.
Unfortunately, the movie stumbles because of the addition of two other villains who received too much screen time without any real substance. These two include Harold Quince played by James Marsden and Papi Greco portrayed by Edward James Olmos.
The two seem to play their roles more by-the-books, making them rather boring.
Another character, Deb played by Paula Patton, didn’t make that much of an impact either. Patton isn’t bad in the role, it is just dragged down by the weak script.
The action in “2 Guns” was just OK and had difficulty finding the right tone at times. Sometimes it was so dark and serious and others it was played almost comically. The bigger issue with the action, though, is that it just isn’t very exciting. There’s a couple of car chases, but one ends too quickly and the other takes place in the desert, missing out on chances to be really exciting in the middle of city streets like “Fast and the Furious” movies do. The movie’s climax is also disappointing, having action that just seemed generic and implausible.
The flaws in “2 Guns” are easy to see and they pop up quite a bit, however, there are parts that push it from the depths of being a bad film. The acting and chemistry from Washington and Wahlberg helps the movie a lot and Paxton as the villain worked nicely. The movie does have a few funny lines and a couple of nice moments of action.
The whole thing is just weighed down because of the lack of great action, weak script and characters that were forgettable. High 2 out of 5.