Gunning for Box Office Bucks - A review of 2 Guns
Title: 2 Guns
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Run Time: 109 minutes
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos
Summary: Unexpected and refreshing, this is one of those late summer gems that will help redeem this roller coaster summer season with a compelling plot and fantastic acting.
What do you get when you take a solid actor like Denzel Washington, a compellingly fun actor like Mark Wahlberg, several recognizable co-stars who also have good acting chops, an intriguing mystery/action/ thriller plot and a bag of popcorn?
Two hours of big screen gold.
Washington plays an undercover DEA agent named Bobby Trench who has been assigned to infiltrate a drug cartel and find a cache of drugs to be smuggled into the US.
Wahlberg plays Michael Stigman, a likewise undercover naval intelligence officer trying to locate $3 million in drug money from the same deal.
They don’t know each other but they each believe the other is their inside contact to finding what each of them is looking for. So together they end up robbing a bank and find a lot more than either are expecting.
Instead of $3 million, they find $43 million of a rogue CIA agent’s hidden cache and needless to say, he isn’t happy about it.
So, now Washington and Wahlberg are on the run. And the CIA, DEA, Naval intelligence and the Mexican cartel are all after them. What ensues is a buddy cop flick that has to be seen to be believed. And it’s just plain intriguing fun.
Bill Paxton plays the irritatingly stoic and unyielding CIA agent whose money was lifted and he will stop at nothing to get it back. James Marsden is the Naval intelligence officer who likewise is after the pair after double crossing Stigman and placing him on the AWOL list when Stigman delivers the money to him.
And what needs to be said about Edward James Olmos? He’s as top notch an actor as you’re likely to find in Hollywood, no matter what side of the law he’s on. Here, he plays the sadistic cartel lord with a twisted sense of honor who just wants to come out of the whole adventure on his feet. Just don’t shake his hand after he’s done with his daily hand-washing ritual.
This is one of those movies that you have to pay attention to. Just about every scene helps to set up the next one and you can easily lose the plot if you aren’t focused on the movie. But the payoff is well worth the investment.
Washington and Wahlberg are the unexpected odd couple of the summer. Even when they’re at odds, they still manage to play off of each other’s emotions and motivations. This makes for the type of movie camaraderie you can only buy from two actors who obviously enjoy working with one another.
Since this is August, don’t expect the movie to stick around long at the box office. Late summer movies rarely do well in first run, but it will definitely get a second life once the movie hits the DVD shelf.
But if you do manage to catch this movie on the big screen, sit back and enjoy the ride. 2 Guns is well worthy of 4 out of 5 stars.