As popular as both Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are, 2 Guns has managed to fly under the radar during this summer season leading up to its release. I haven’t seen a great deal of excitement surrounding this movie like we have seen for some of the other films out in the market. It’s even based on a comic series of the same name that I’m not familiar with and I’m a big comic nerd. Both Wahlberg and especially Washington have proved in the past they can pack in the audiences for a good time, but can they create the same magic as a team?
2 Guns has Washington and Wahlberg in deep cover trying to rob a bank full of Mexican Drug Cartel money. Washington’s DEA agent and Wahlberg’s NCIS officer get caught up with a scheme of shady characters on both sides of the law that involves the CIA, DEA, the Navy and a Mexican Drug lord (Edward James Olmos). This is where the problems start with 2 Guns. There is way too much going on in this poorly shaped plot. The twists become forced because of the weak story, so we can see the betrayals coming from a mile away. By the end of 2 Guns, I forgot what team everybody was supposed to be playing on.
The other problem with 2 Guns is the decision to team up Washington and Wahlberg. On their own in 2 Guns, both Wahlberg and Washington are entertaining. Wahlberg’s Stigman is a poor man’s Riggs from Lethal Weapon without the suicidal tendencies and Washington has the smooth operator role down pat. But for some reason the chemistry on-screen between the two was not visible in 2 Guns. The dynamic between the actors is a big problem, considering that Wahlberg and Washington spend most of the film on-screen together. Blame it on contrasting styles of acting, but I was let down with the duo’s performance. On paper this seemed like an action tandem that would bring the pain and the laughs. The key word to remember is on paper.
In the end, 2 Guns is very uneven and hurts the movie’s potential. The film does have it moments with the action and laughs, but for the most part 2 Guns seems to be a film that has too many working parts that don’t fit together by the conclusion. One of the bright spots of 2 Guns was the performance of Bill Paxton, who plays and unsavory character named Earl who is not to be messed with. Why couldn’t we have seen less of the meaningless naval and cartel bad guys and more of the menacing Earl? Paxton’s performance is a perfect example of why I put him at number 1 on my underrated actors list. Overall, I give the mismanaged 2 Guns an appropriate “2” out of 4 potatoes.
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