2 Guns Review

Posted: August 26, 2013 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

two_gunsWritten by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

There are certain trailers I’ll see which won’t exude horribleness yet I still find myself reacting with a resounding “meh”. 2 Guns is such a film. Nothing about the trailer looked awful and it actually had a pretty strong cast, yet I couldn’t help but think the end result would be pretty mediocre. However one of the podcasts I followed gave it a favourable review and I couldn’t really think of a better way to spend my Saturday afternoon. Besides, I remembered the last time I had disinterest in a Denzel Washington action film and being pleasantly surprised by Safe House. Perhaps 2 Guns had the same potential.

The film opens with a pair of criminals (Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) setting up an attempted bank robbery. Their motivation is related to a drug kingpin (Edward James Olmos) who has a safety deposit box kept at this bank. However it is revealed that the two are undercover agents for different agencies (DEA and US Navy) who are unaware of each other’s true motives. Further complicating their plot is the fact that this bank also holds a small fortune for the CIA. The two find themselves lost in a heated battle for the money and can only trust each other.

This movie was marketed on the chemistry between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg and it’s easily the film’s greatest asset. The two are very talented actors and do manage to have a lot of fun banter together and they also seem to be having a lot of fun working together. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much to their relationship beyond a lot of snarky comments. I blame the script entirely, especially since the two actors inject a lot of natural charisma to the characters and manage to make the relationship to work better than it should. There’s also some decent work from Edward James Olmos, James Marsden, and especially Bill Paxton. None of these guys are delivering Oscar worthy work, but they bring some fun to the proceedings.

Unfortunately outside of the acting, a lot of this falls short. The plot is pretty uninteresting, disposable, and ultimately ridiculous when you really think about it. The worst thing of all was I found myself not really caring about anything that happened. This comes from the uninspired script, but also from a lack of consequences. Laws are broken, people betrayed, and characters killed yet the leads just brush it all off with a wink and a smile. Why should I invest in what’s going on when the main characters don’t seem all that concerned. It doesn’t help that the story ends on a climax so implausibly dumb it’ll make your head spin.

2 Guns is directed by Baltasar Kormákur, the man behind the boring-as-fuck Contraband. 2 Guns certainly moves faster than that film, but Kormákur still seems a pretty weak filmmaker. One can tell he’s trying really hard to make 2 Guns a “cool” movie. He gives it slow motion, guys not looking at explosions, and the film just reeks with a sense of “look how cool we are”. It’s really hard to force a film to be cool and Kormákur does not succeed. To his credit, the man does craft some decent action scenes but even this is a backhanded compliment. The action is mildly competent, but overall not very memorable. There’s a lot of punching and shooting, but it all sort of blends together.

So overall, what can I say about the film? Well, it moves fast and audiences looking for some easy action thrills may be satisfied, but I thought this was a pretty weak effort. The strengths of the cast go a long way towards making this watchable, but there’s only so much they can do. It’s a shame the surprisingly engaging team of Washington and Wahlberg was wasted on 2 Guns.


  1. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Dan. It’s sure as hell nothing new or original brought to the action-thriller genre, but it’s still a fun movie, if you can get past its odd tone.

  2. moviebuff801 says:

    I rated it SLIGHTLY higher, but our thoughts are still the same.

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