2 Guns (2013)

I love the R-Rated ‘buddy’ action flicks of the 80s/90s…and clearly, so does this flick. This is most definitely a loving throwback to movies like the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series (87-98), ’48 Hours’ 1-2 (1982, 1990) and the awesome ‘The Last Boy Scout’ (1990). Movies where the quips and one-liners fly unrestrained and the gunfire and explosions are loud n violent…which is exactly the case here.
‘2 Guns’ follows a pair of low-life criminal scum, played by Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, as they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous ‘cat n mouse’ game with Mexican drug Cartels, the CIA and crooked naval officers, over $43 million dollars that they ‘liberated’ from a small town bank somewhere in Texas (I think). The thing is…they’re both undercover agents, with Washingtons ‘Bobby Beans/Bobby Trench’ character coming in from the DEA, while Wahlbergs ‘Stigman’ resides on the payroll of the US Navy. After running afoul of Bill Paxtons (Aliens) brutal CIA agent Earl, via their brazen and ballsy bank heist, as well as Edward James Olmos’ (Battlestar Galactica) cartel leader, Papi Greco (whose money they thought they were stealing), the two wise-cracking protagonists have to pull out all their tricks to stay one step ahead…while staying out of a shallow grave.
Rounding out the cast is Washingtons ‘Deja Vu’ (2006) co-star Paula Patton as his ‘handler’/fuck buddy Deb, Remo Williams himself Fred Ward as Admiral Tuwey and James Marsden (X-Men) as ‘Stigs’ duplicitous commanding officer, Quince.
As with the best of these types of flicks, the chemistry between the ‘leads’ is key to keeping the movie entertaining as it embraces and wallows in the cliche’s that we’ve come to expect from THIS type of flick…and this one does not disappoint. Wahlberg and Washington probably had a blast on this one, as there is a very natural feel to their hilarious bickering. Both of them get some good ‘zingers’ in, with Wahlberg squeaking ahead with his comic timing and the lions share of the jokes. Added to which, both Trench and ‘Stig’ are given simple but effective sayings and mannerisms to ‘individualize’ them, Trench with his removable teeth bling, and ‘Stig’ with his incessant gum chewing and tendency to wink at anything with a vagina…especially waitresses. The villains also get their own little ‘things’, like Earls tendency to use the exact same ‘Russian Roulette’ spiel/threat on all his victims, and Papi’s love of BBQ…and of pissing on his own hands before torture sessions. Weird, amusing stuff.
The action scenes are also tons of fun. We get fast car chases, quick, loud shootouts, fistfights, daring escapes, a helicopter attack and a big explosion or two.
This is Wahlbergs second flick with his ‘Contraband’ (2012) director Baltasar Kormakur and this time, they make up for the mostly dull and sloppy mess that was THAT movie.
Now, despite how many times I caught myself laughing out loud or grinning at the carnage, ‘2 Guns’ is not without its flaws. Some of the scene transitions felt choppy and overly abrupt, while some of the character motivations seemed murky and ‘lacking’ in ‘flesh’. There are also several obvious plot holes and lapses in logic that stood right out, like characters managing to turn up right when they were needed, or being able to orchestrate big, complex schemes without us, the audience, being privy to the ‘prep’. But, given what this flick ‘is’…they’re mostly forgivable. Maybe some of these will be addressed in a future ‘Unrated Extended’ cut on DVD/BluRay…some of the pacing could use it.
Basically, if you want to duck into a darkened movie theatre for the sole purpose of being entertained by something that does not require much of your grey matter, this is a solid bet. It’s got witty jokes, fast action, bloody violence, F-bombs galore and a really nice set of boobs (thanks, Paula!)…and what else could you possibly need?! Hell, even the 80-something year old lady, sitting by herself at the end of my row. was grinning through the flick. She seemed to like it…you might too.

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