Release Date: Aug. 2, 2013
Running Time: 109 minutes
No one does bromance better than Mark Wahlberg. When it comes to dramas and thrillers, Wahlberg is usually as good as the director and the script he is working with. Pair Wahlberg in a comedy with an actor who possesses a strong presence and he’s engaged, enthusiastic, and equally as funny as his onscreen partner. Think The Other Guys with Will Ferrell, Pain & Gain with Dwayne Johnson, and even Ted with the Seth MacFarlene-voiced stuffed toy. The same applies to 2 Guns, an action comedy that finds Wahlberg and Denzel Washington in a whole heap of trouble. At first, we assume Wahlberg and Washington are bad guys who conspire to steal from a bank $3 million that belongs to Edward James Olmos’ Mexican drug dealer. Not the case at all. Wahlberg and Washington don’t know that they’re both working undercover to bust Olmos. Wahlberg’s NCIS; Washington’s DEA. Imagine their surprise when they realize their bosses have pitted them against each other. And that their bank robbery has netted them $43 million that belongs to some very bad people who will kill to get their money back. Unlike Contraband, Wahlberg’s previous film with director Baltasar Kormákur, this energetic adaptation of Steven Grant’s graphic novels is played mostly for laughs, granted one with a lot of violence and at least one unexpected death. So is inevitable that 2 Guns recalls—favorably, I might add—such shoot ’em up buddy comedies of the 1980s as 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon, and Midnight Run. It’s obvious from the beginning of 2 Guns, when the impetus Wahlberg and the disciplined Washington bicker over what they should order for breakfast, that they are going make an amusing odd couple. They instantly sound like they have known each other for years and have enjoyed a love-hate relationship, but that they would have each other’s back no matter the circumstances. 2 Guns relies heavily on their rapid-fire exchanges, especially when they are butting heads. Kormákur doesn’t ask Wahlberg and Washington to step outside their comfort zones. Wahlberg’s typically cocky and likable; Washington’s loose and relaxed, but he gets to show off his trademark intensity when the going gets tough. They receive solid backup from James Marsden as Wahlberg’s boss, Paula Patton as Washington’s boss, and a delightfully smug and nasty Bill Paxton as the villain who’s hell bent on retrieving his stolen money. While there’s nothing in 2 Guns that we haven’t seen before, Kormákur keeps everything moving at an energetic pace and executes the action with authority, most notably when Wahlberg and Washington force their way into the Corpus Christi naval base to confront Marsden. Most important, Kormákur knows 2 Guns is a throwback buddy movie, and he does a great job of reminding us how much fun we had when the likes of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover or Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte were at each other’s throats while trying to takedown the bad guys.
Aired: Aug. 1, 2013
Web site: http://www.2guns.net/