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Film review of ‘2 Guns’: Little to latch onto, but still going great guns

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October 13th, 2013


This article is more than 11 years old.

There’s a particular type of film that unites the men in any family. In mine, a buddy/cop film would, without fail, lead to three generations convening on one sofa. Within that genre, you’d find Riggs & Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, Foley & Rosewood in Beverly Hills Cop, and Crocket & Tubbs in Miami Vice – the 1980s were littered with black cop/white cop duos. Now fast forward 30 years, and with Mark Wahlberg as US naval officer Mike Stigman and the heavyweight Denzel Washington as DEA agent Robert Trench, 2 Guns certainly evokes memories of that subgenre, sharing more than a little of their DNA.

Originally a comic book by Steven Grant, the narrative follows Bobby and ‘Stig’ through a series of revelations, the first being (no spoilers – it’s in the trailer) that although both officers are working together undercover, running drugs (and ping-ponging killer quips as they go), neither of the pair have any idea that the other is also an undercover operative. After staging a bank robbery in which they score ten times as much cash as they had expected, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems. They end up on the run from their respective employers and attract unwanted attention from both a Mexican drug cartel and the CIA. What follows is pretty much what it says on the tin: some laughs, lots of well-choreographed gunplay and car chases, with Paula Patton (MI:4) providing the inevitable eye candy.

2 Guns is an actioner that promised to be above-average and revealed itself to be efficiently made, intermittently funny and intelligently performed by the leads. The support cast is also strong with the affable Olmos (Battlestar Galactica, Stand and Deliver) as a merciless drug lord and the criminally underused Paxton (Aliens, Apollo 13) as a corrupt CIA officer with an unorthodox interrogation technique. Though it is frequently enjoyable, there’s ultimately little to latch onto or care about. As such, the sum of these perfectly functioning parts is an oddly forgettable and wholly unremarkable experience. That’s not to say my dad wouldn’t be entertained.

 

2 Guns (15)

Dir: Baltasar Kormákur, US comedy/action, 2013, 109 mins; Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, Bill Paxton

Premiered Oct 10
Playing nationwide


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