365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

14Feb/140

2 Guns (2013)

2 Guns is not my type of movie because it isn't really sure what it wants to be. It doesn't really take itself too seriously, but it does contain relationships between the characters that do seem to be meaningful. At times, it's a terrible drama. At times, it's a comedy that isn't funny. At times, it's a lame attempt at a shoot 'em up in Quentin Tarantino style. It's lead actors are all over the place.  In short, it's a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be. It's also a movie that totally wastes the talents of two great actors like Denzel Washington (Training Day, American Gangster) and Mark Wahlberg (Shooter, The Italian Job). It's a little ironic because this was Washington's first movie since his outstanding performance in Flight and the last movie Wahlberg shot before his outstanding performance in Lone Survivor. I wouldn't go so far to say it's a movie that either of these actors wish they had not done, but it is a movie that I wish they hadn't done.

I suppose Baltasar Kormákur's (Contraband, A Little Trip to Heaven) goal was to keep us guessing from the very first scene until the very end. Much like the theme of American Hustle in terms of which characters are good, which are bad, and who is trying to hustle who, 2 Guns attempts the same sort of thing, but isn't nearly as successful. This is not the reason it did not get nominated for more than a handful of Academy Awards like American Hustle did. It got nominated for zero Academy Awards because it was a very dumb and only slightly entertaining movie. The chemistry between Michael 'Stig' Stigman (Wahlberg) and Robert 'Bobby' Trench (Washington) is good, but they are playing corny characters that hold positions where you wouldn't exactly think corny. Wahlberg can do comedy very well and Washington has played characters with a humorous side. But seeing this clown around in one second, trying to kill each other the next, and becoming buddy-buddy the next was too much to take.

Basically the two men meet up to rob banks, engage in the selling of illegal drugs, etc. But neither of them know that they are actually good guys working for the same team. Bobby is a Drug Enforcement Agent and Stig is a naval intelligence officer. They both have missions to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel, but each man thinks he is just using the other for intel and help. The specific task is to rob a bank in order to take the money from drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos - Stand and Deliver, Blade Runner) who is using the facility to launder money.Very early on they realize they are on the same side, but each still thinks the other is dirty. Otherwise how would each man be in the position he is in without either side of good guys knowing about it.

There's comedy. There's action. There are car chases. There are plenty of shoot 'em up scenes. It's a little too smart for its own good. It wants to be both Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys at once and, as a result, it sort of falls flat on its face. The chemistry between these two A-list actors is forced and doesn't work. There are far too many coincidences along the way. You never really know if the movie is trying to be convincing in its storytelling or if it is just making fun of itself. Bill Paxton (A Simple Plan, U571) is thrown in there because there aren't enough villains in the film? His henchmen are just another crew out to take out Stig and Bobby to get the money.

There are more than 50 movies that were released in 2013 that are better than this one. Unless you see everything Washington and/or Wahlberg are in (and even I don't do that and Washington is one of my ten favorite actors), you should avoid this movie. You'd have a much better time watching (or re-watching) and of the Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys movies.

Plot 5/10
Character Development 4/10
Character Chemistry 4/10
Acting 7.5/10
Screenplay 7/10
Directing  6.5/10
Cinematography 7.5/10
Sound 7.5/10
Hook and Reel 7.5/10
Universal Relevance 6/10
61.5%

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