Cinema Review: 2 Guns

2 Guns 10

Dir: Baltasar Kormakur • Wri: Peter Ladinigg, Umat Dag • PRO: Andrew Cosby, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Norton Herrick, Ross Richie, Adam Siegel DOP: Oliver Wood  • Ed: Michael Tronick • DES: Beth Mickle • Cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden, Paula Patton

We meet smooth-as-silk Bobby (Washington) and motormouth Stig (Wahlberg) as they’re planning to rob a bank – a heist that goes even better than they could have imagined, because when all the dust settles they’ve got way more money than they bargained for. Way, way, more. Around $43 million dollars more, to be exact.

There may be trouble ahead, and it’s now that Bobby reveals himself as a deeply undercover DEA agent. He was looking to finally bring Greco (Olmos) to justice – it was his drug smuggling money they were stealing – but the tables are turned when Stig shoots him in the arm and leaves him behind in the desert, taking the cash to his boss Quince (Marsden).

Quince is a bigwig in Naval Intelligence, and it’s now that we find out Stig is also an undercover man doing his duty for Uncle Sam. But what’s the $43 million bucks going to be used for? That soon becomes a minor problem when everyone realizes that the money isn’t Greco’s – it belongs to someone else; someone serving a much more dangerous master.

Soon enough Bobby and Stig are on the run, a reluctant pair who trust each other about as far as they can throw each other – which isn’t far enough. Getting the cash back might get them their freedom, but then Greco gets hold of Bobby’s girl and fellow DEA agent Deb (Patton), and the bickering pair are tracking down – and trying to stay ahead – of a trio of gun toting, bull-breeding, helicopter-flying villains…

In a summer full of big blockbuster movies – nearly all of which have failed to hit the target – this guns ‘n quips action movie should find an audience. Starring the ever-reliable Washington and the likeable Wahlberg, this is by-the-numbers entertainment that’s high on bullets and explosions and contains the requisite number of twists and betrayals.

It’s a nice spin to have both of the leads working undercover and learning along the way that they’ve been lying to each other, though some of the subsequent revelations are obvious well in advance, so it’s kind of a pity Washington and Wahlberg didn’t get enough time to exercise their bitching, arguing and sniping.

More of this comic side would have made us buy them more cheaply as buddies, and the emotion is kept on a tight rein too, the pair seeming more like superheroes than people. Down the bullets rain as the bodies hit the dirt, but there’s no blood on show and the pair seem to barely get a scratch – probably in order to get the low certification – and at times it seems more like The A Team than a hard scrabble, dangerous actioner.

The roots of this story in Steven Grant’s graphic novel perhaps explain this pseudo-cartoonish feel, and though director Kormakur (who worked with Wahlberg on last year’s also blandish Contraband) does a decent enough job keeping up the pace, having three villains never really allows you to focus your fear for the lads, and in the end it’s all rather unforgettable stuff, if divertingly entertaining.

James Bartlett

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)

108 mins
2 Guns is released on 16th August 2013

2 Guns  – Official Website