2 Guns opens with a few scenes that introduce us to self-assured and selfish small-time thieves, Bobby (Denzel Washington) and Stig (Mark Wahlberg), or so it seems, wisecracking their way through life without a care while doing the age-old movie thing of having an inconsequential argument during a job which results in a restaurant exploding seconds after they’ve left it.
They’re both hiding something from each other – the fact that they both work for the authorities, yet both think that the other is a ne’er-do-well.
Their next plan is to step up and rob a bank of a mobster’s $3m, but there’s more to that scene than first appears, and also the secret between them is bound to come out sooner or later, but even when it does, you know in a film like this that they’ll end up fighting bigger fish and have to re-team to sort it out. After all, the trailer said so. It’s a well-worn idea, but we’re not looking for originality here.
2 Guns does a lot of things that so many films don’t these days: It doesn’t outstay its welcome, it doesn’t overplay its hand, it doesn’t try and be clever and throw in extraneous subplots which go nowhere – it delivers a solid piece of entertainment with great comic timing.
The performances are all fine in this film, with the two leads carrying it. No-one seems to put in a major amount of effort here, but most of the leads – including Edward James Olmos as the main baddie – keep the one-liners flowing nicely, while the most work done is down to the editing to weave a great action film together. There’s also some neat appearances from Bill Paxton and Robert John Burke, while Paula Patton couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.
Overall, 2 Guns is an engaging take on the buddy-actioner, with engaging direction from Baltasar Kormákur, who I hadn’t heard of before. I also didn’t know, until I saw the extras that it’s based on a graphic novel. On this showing, I think there’s definitely legs in it for a sequel.
Go to page 2 for the presentation and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.