2 Guns Review
We all watch movies for different reasons. We watch them to feel moved, to think, to be taken to another world. Other times, we just want some good old fashion fun. "2 Guns" supplies that good old fashion fun. "2 Guns" is a movie that reinvigorate the action genre, nor will send either Mark Wahlberg or Denzel Washington to the Academy Awards next year, but in a summer of bitter tastes and disagreement, this is soft fun everyone can enjoy.
What makes the movie work so well is how good Washington and Wahlberg act together. I am particularly happy that Wahlberg has been pretty consistent in his career the last few years. In Wahlberg's early career, you could always tell when he was acting for the paycheck and when he was acting for the script. Look at his performances in "The Happening" and "Planet of the Apes," then look at him in "The Departed" and "The Fighter," feels like two sets of performances from two different actors. It seems recently that he has found his footing playing off someone (in this case Washington) and it is marvelous. The chemistry between these two actors is almost unbelievable, and they drive the entire movie. The film rests entirely on their relationship and if these guys weren't at the top of their game, the movie would have failed. Not that they are alone, the cast also includes Paula Patton, Bill Paxton and James Marsden, all add more flare to the already interesting motion picture.
Mark Wahlberg plays Michael Stigman and Denzel Washington plays Robert Trench. Stigman and Trench are criminals who try to buy drugs from big-time, drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) which doesn't work. The two men decide to steal money from the drug lord, what each man doesn't know is that the other man works for a department of the American government. (Stigman is a Naval Intelligence Officer while Trench works for the DEA.) The heist ends up being bigger than either man thought, and soon everyone from the Navy, the DEA, the drug dealers and even the CIA are in on trying to retrieve the money Stigman and Trench stole. Why this money is so valuable...well...you'll have to see the movie to find out. Its a story we've heard a thousand times before, but Wahlberg, Washington and the rest of the ensemble are determined to mine as much fun out of the movie as possible. It may not be a revolutionizing film, but it is definitely an effective film.
The action beats are pretty spectacular, as it features a couple shootouts which will surely impress the action crowd. The film also features a wicked sense of humor, and again, I got to pat Wahlberg and Washington on the back for that. Not only are Wahlberg and Washington solid, but Paula Patton plays a very good love interest for Washinton's character. Bill Paxton plays a snarly CIA agent with his own agenda on getting the money, and he is really great. I feel Paxton is truly underrated and he doesn't disappoint. James Marsden and Edward James Olmos are also very good.
When you look at the trailers and poster for "2 Guns," its pretty clear what you are going to get. This is a movie that isn't afraid to be itself, and I like that. It's not inconsistent with its drama, comedy and action. It doesn't go for an unneeded twist ending. It's simply an action movie with two great leads that tries to entertain. All I can say is mission accomplished.
FINAL GRADE: B