2 Guns – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

2 guns2 Guns – 2.5/5 – August films; what comes with this part of the year can be described in three words.  Those words are simple, dumb, fun.   That is pretty much what you usually expect from films released in this part of the year.  Even if these films aren’t the best, they can still entertain to an extent.  2 Guns is one of those films that falls into this category.  Even for a convoluted plot, it entertains because of a commanding force by the co-leads.  2 Guns isn’t going to win any awards, but it can be an enjoyable ride.

Premise: Two partners find themselves on the run after a botched attempt to steal a drug cartel’s funds. While fleeing, they learn the secret of their shaky alliance, and must find a way to work together, and bring all players to table, and take them out, guns and all.

As mentioned above, this film is lead by two heavyweights in the business.  The two leads are Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and Stig Stigman (Mark Wahlberg).  Each of these two characters is portrayed as arrogant and brash men, who are always overtly critical about the most absurd.  With this seemingly being a cause for friction, you come to realize that the two actors bring out distinct individualities, which help you become attach to their personas in the film.  This is helped by the charm they bring to the cheesy lines, and actions they perform together and separate.  As you watch them act on screen, you realize the flavor you feel is what you most commonly see in buddy cop films.  In introducing this layer out in an uncommon scenario, you see how great a lever their acting is, as well as how it helps makes the film flow through a mess of a story.  With the focus of the film on their relationship through the onslaught and turmoil, their chemistry is so alluring, each moment that is comical or dramatic feel awesome and vivid.  Denzel brings his wits, skills and experience to the forefront. You see that he can be ‘Oscar caliber’ even in an ordinary character.  What also helps bring color to his character is how Mark Wahlberg compliments him with his whimsical attitude and raw comical timing in his guy, Stig Stigman.  With these two on screen, you become hooked into their bantering, knowing it was worth watching. After these guys, the film is littered with familiar faces in archetype roles.  In the villainous ‘bad guy’ roles, you have Earl (Bill Paxton) and Drug Cartel leader, Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos).  These two guys give typecast villains, but are entertaining in these roles.  Bill Paxton stands out the most of these two, as you’re in marvel of the great job he does in playing a villain.  Regardless of the cheesy lines, and cringing moments, he gives the audience a vile antagonist.   Some of the other supporting casts you have are Deb (Paula Patton), Admiral Tuwey (Fred Ward) and Quince (James Marsden).  These individuals are fine in their roles, but don’t do much in providing depth\individual moments as good as the co-leads or Bill Paxton.  After these known names in the supporting roles, the rest film is littered with common thugs; obvious dumb cops, typical citizens, and anything that could be consider ‘movie casualties’ to bring a character-like feel to the action.

The direction of this film is a mix bag of politics, thriller and action.  With all these themes in play, the film does become a jumble mess.  As much as I can say without spoiling the story, I will explain the basic introduction in this film.  We are introduced (in a flashback) to Stigman and Trench, as they are partners working for a Drug Cartel, ran by Papi.  Eventually, the film (present time) through circumstantial plot movement, shows the two guys are intent on robbing Papi blind, which reveals their true motives for working together.  After getting the money, they learn they are robbing not the Cartel’s money, but money owned by the US Government.  After this introduction to the main players, co-leads and story points, the film begins to go down a road of twisting, ridiculous plot scenarios that devolves a simple, dumb fun film into a complex mess.  Even for all this that could drag the film into reaches of monotony, the chemistry between Stigman and Trench keeps the film’s level of entertainment at a general high.  As much as this can be attest to the two great actors behind these roles (Denzel and Mark), it is also the slick and comical dialogue they have with each other, and other characters in the film.  There chemistry through all the shootouts, typical action sequences and dramatic standoffs paints a picture of enjoyment that would otherwise be obviously boring.  As you watch these two in action, you realize that their pseudo buddy cop aura helps prop up the film.  Even for their colorful interactions, by the time you hit the third act and climax, you know exactly what is going to happen, as convenience brings the film to an obvious conclusion.  In the end, you know it’s a throw away film, but you can’t help but feel like it will still have some lasting appeal.

The visuals of the film are basic at best.  I say this because the director gives you common looks at generalities to define an action film, but not enough to spice up the story, characters or ongoing action in the film.  Score is non-existent.

Overall, 2 Guns is a film that isn’t amazing, but it is still enjoyable.  The reason for the enjoyment is because of the two leads, Denzel and Mark.  With a patchwork like story, and common characters, 2 Guns is a passable watch.  I say catch this film at matinee price, even if you’re a fan of the two actors.

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