“Two Guns”, a very violent buddy cop movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington has just hit the big screen, and I have to tell you straight off – there are waaaaay more than 2 guns. This is a shoot-em-up movie in every way.
The story, based on a graphic novel by Steven Grant, (are there any movies this summer that aren’t based on graphic novels?) centers around two seemingly soldiers-of-fortune, Bobby Trench (Washington) and Marcus Stigman (Wahlberg) who team up to infiltrate a Mexican Drug Cartel and recover a small fortune. Though they’ve been reluctantly working together for 12 months, neither trusts the other nor really knows who their partner is working for. Are they good guys or bad guys? What’s their real motivation? Only 1 hour and 49 minutes will tell.
It’s difficult to go into much story detail here as the entire plot consists of twists and turns. I think I’m safe in saying that it involves a lot of capital letters, including NCIS, DEA and CIA. Not to drop any spoilers, but suffice it to say things go very wrong and the duo is left out in the cold realizing that the only person they can trust is each other.
“Guns” suffers from not really knowing what kind of movie it wants to be – comedy, action, drama, crime – and would be crushed under its own weight were it not for the star power of Wahlberg and Washington, aided and abetted by a fine ensemble including Edward James Olmos, Bill Paxton and James Marsden. Paxton in particular plays against type as a gleefully monstrous villain. These actors just deserve a better premise and screenplay.
Wahlberg has already proved his versatility in dramas like “The Fighter” and silly comedies like “Ted”, and his likeability provides the film with its best moments. I’ve just never found Washington to be either warm or fuzzy, and his attempts at humor here, merely come off as grumpy.
Director, Baltasar Kormákur is clearly trying to achieve a kind of Tarantino-meets-Elmore scenario, but his efforts ultimately fall a bit flat.
The Bottom Line: “2 Guns” has its moments, but not nearly enough to make for a great movie experience. Keep the grandkids away, this one is much too violent.
Rated R for violence throughout, language and brief nudity. 1 hr. 49 min.