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'2 Guns' Review: Combustible Chemistry Counters Twist-Obsessed Caper

'2 Guns' Review: Combustible Chemistry Counters Twist-Obsessed Caper

At the end of the new film 2 Guns, some of the heroes and the villains have cartoonishly betrayed one another. The plot, which started out innocently enough, has gone off the deep end. And the story’s endless twists and turns have gone from slightly unpredictable to bizarrely unrealistic.

That’s okay. The movie was fun while it lasted.

Starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as two undercover officers, the motion picture is set up as a comedic drama where individuals form alliances with one another for the sole purpose of setting up a climactic final scene where everyone shoots at one another. Washington plays Bobby Trench, a grinning and menacing undercover DEA agent. Bobby is a man of the law, but he is willing to forsake it when necessary.

Washington is the perfect choice for the character because of this. Throughout his career, the two-time Oscar has played both noble heroes (i.e. Unstoppable) and monstrous villains (i.e. Training Day) so it seems realistic that he could fit in with thugs as easily as he could fit in with law enforcement agents.

Bobby is working alongside Michael Stigman (Wahlberg, in another fine casting choice), a rough-talking Naval intelligence officer who is also working undercover.

During their first criminal dealings, Bobby and Michael are unaware that they are working with an undercover officer. But that eventually changes as the duo–whose palpable chemistry keeps the story flowing–are forced to work together to survive an onslaught of villains trying to kill them and retrieve the $42.13 million the duo stole from a local CIA-managed bank (don’t ask).

The plot leaves much to be desired– some of the twists are so bizarre it’s hard to keep track–but with a fine supporting cast, the plot chugs along at a nice pace. Bill Paxton appears as a psychotic monster with an unrepentant trigger figure while James Marsden shows up as a vengeful Naval officer, trying to stab Michael in the back. Edward James Olmos even gets his turn in the limelight as a destructive drug dealer. Each of these men–and the creeps they hang out with–are looking to get their hands on the money.  

And they all want their fingers wrapped around the necks of Bobby and Michael.

As the drama unfolds, the violence ratchets up and there’s plenty of blood lost–both human and animal– as the two leads find themselves further and further in mischief. The screenplay, written by Blake Masters and adapted from the graphic novels), is frantic as each villain is introduced with their own back stories.

But the chemistry between Washington and Wahlberg easily overshadows such flaws and the inevitable idea that everything in the story is being set up for one final blood-drenched showdown.

Sure, Two Guns isn’t a great action film or even a very memorable one, but we’re now in the doldrums of August with most of the major blockbusters having come and gone from theaters. It’s fun to sit back and enjoy two hours of brainless action packed with some great laughs and two actors clearly enjoying their time together.

Two Guns delivers that.

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