Denzel Washington stars as Bobby – an undercover DEA agent on the verge of getting a major informant to flip on one of Mexico’s leading drug kingpins, Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). He has been working with a charming thief, Stig (Mark “Don’t Call Me Marky Mark” Wahlberg), and they have come up with a plan to steal money belonging to Papi. Stig might want the cash, but Bobby wants to use it to be traced back to a crime involving the bad guys.
They rob a local bank expecting to find the $3 million in question, but, instead, end up taking $43 million without anyone trying to stop them. Now, they have huge problems trying to figure out who owns that illegal booty and fighting off everyone who wants to take it from them now that the money is out of the bank.
Why is there $43 million in that bank?
Who is trying to take it?
Who can be trusted?
2 Guns is a fun summer movie because Wahlberg and Washington share some of the best on screen chemistry you will see all year. The story from writer Blake Masters (and based on the graphic novel from Steven Grant) might get a bit confusing at times, but our two A-list stars make the most of the dialogue between the two buddies. It’s the kind of smart ass give and take that will have you laughing at just about every line.
Director Baltasar Kormakur does a great job mixing the comedy and action without ever going too far in either direction at any time. We don’t get saddled with untimely, stupid jokes in highly dramatic moments, and we don’t get stuck with drama driving itself like a nail through the funny moments. While the movie is being sold as more of a drama, I felt it was a funny action comedy, and Kormakur is always hitting the right tone for the scene.
With this cast, it would be hard to mess up 2 Guns. Washington and Wahlberg use the charm that has made them two of the best and most likable actors in the business. It’s just entertaining to see the joy on Wahlberg’s face as he launches into another comical discussion with Washington, and watching Washington display that confidence and command he has of the screen.
Sadly, it’s Bill Paxton who needs to be reined in. As a big secret bad guy, Paxton is cartoonish in all of the wrong ways. Kormakur should have clued him in on the tone of the movie, and made him watch the good performances from Washington, Wahlberg and Paula Patton to get him to up his game. It’s almost like Paxton heard this was based on a graphic novel, so he felt the need to be goofy.
2 Guns is a nice summer surprise.
2 Guns is rated R for violence throughout, language and brief nudity