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Movie Review: '2 Guns'

2 Guns

Starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Paxton
Directed by Baltasar Kormakur
Rated R

If you go to the movies with any sort of regular frequency, then you probably saw the trailer for 2 Guns quite a bit.  I felt like every movie I’ve seen over the last 3 or 4 months, a 2 Guns trailer was playing in front of it.  Needless to say, I saw the trailer quite a bit.  The trailer, for all that it showed, and it showed quite a bit, also left me scratching my head as to what the movie was really about. True, you don’t want to see a trailer that exposes everything.  God knows that’s annoying (and something we’ve expressed our displeasure about here at GTBP), but being vague is also a tricky line to walk when not trying to expose all of your secrets but yet get people interested in what you’re selling.  The trailer for 2 Guns wasn’t selling me at all.

But what kept for from completely dismissing the movie entirely was the cast.  Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Paxton playing it a little weird and crazy, I can be down with that.  So walking into this movie, I wasn’t exactly dismissing it.  The movie does have its secrets, not all of them very clever or beyond what you’ve seen a thousand times before.  The movie isn’t really boring either, thanks in large part to the 3 gentlemen I mentioned before but as I write this, I can’t help but think this movie was rather pointless and its only real purpose was just to put two bankable actors together in a big budget action movie.  Now that concept isn’t new either, but 2 Guns get’s caught up in its own web twists and turns, ultimately turning what should have been just a straight forward 2 hour action/comedy movie into something that as the credits roll, you wonder why they went through all the trouble to make it so convoluted.

The movie starts with Bobby (Washington) and Stigs (Wahlberg) casing a bank in a sleepy Texas town they ultimately plan to rob.  Why are they planning to rob a bank?   You see, It seems that Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) the head of a drug cartel is going to have $3 million dollars sitting in a safety deposit box.  But Bobby and Stigs aren’t who they appear to be, which is a couple of bank robbing thugs, Bobby is a DEA agent and Stigs is in the Navy, working with some special forces unit.  But when they rob the bank, they find more than $3 million dollars sitting a safety deposit box; they find $43 million sitting in quite a few safety deposit boxes.  This is where the movie starts to roll out its secrets, ones that involve the CIA (Bill Paxton), another DEA agent (Paula Patton) and a naval commander (James Mardsen).  So Bobby & Stigs start to put together the puzzle, every useless convoluted piece of the puzzle.

2 Guns, had it been written by a better screenwriter, might of walked away with it’s messy plot on better footing than what is actually given to us.  The problem, beyond being too busy for its own good, is the movie has a hard time explaining out all of its little subplots and the reasoning for the actions of the characters.  And had the team involved with making this movie actually taken a moment or two to realize that all the useless subplots aren’t necessary.  Did the Lethal Weapon movies make their stories convoluted?  No they didn’t and guess what, they worked quite well.  2 Guns, had it just taken a simpler plot device and let the natural charm of both its lead actors work off of each other while solving whatever it is they need to solve, then it easily would’ve won me over.  Instead, 2 Guns just leaves me questioning why they are taking such dumb useless routes to get to the end result. 

But to be fair, both Washington and Wahlberg and when he’s on screen, Paxton, make the most of their situation and keep things from getting too unbearable.   Watching Washington work is pretty much the easiest thing to do if you’re a movie fan.  And Wahlberg, I hate to say it, but the guy does have genuine comedic timing and he showcases it here a few times.  I didn’t find myself doubling over in laughter, but there is something to be said for just making a scene or a moment not feel forced and both he and Washington do that quite well.   I just wish I could’ve enjoyed them and what they do in a better, simpler movie. 

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