2 Guns Review
2 Guns is a mostly fun if somewhat forgettable action movie that can be seen as a throwback to the type of buddy-cop movies that were so popular in the 80's and 90's. Starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, the film tells the story of DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) and US Navy Intelligence Officer Marcus Stigman (Wahlberg) who are both attempting to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and who remain unaware of the others true intentions.
While 2 Guns is well directed and really quite well acted by all involved, there is something a little jarring about this movie. Once the initial twist & reveal is put in place, the story becomes far too convoluted for its own good and requires far too much concentration for what is an otherwise by the numbers action blockbuster.
Thank heavens then for Washington & Wahlberg, as their camaraderie is clear for all to see. At first they seem like an unusual partnership both on and off screen, but with Wahlberg's fast talking, act now and think later attitude compared to Washington's cool & collected approach, they form one of the more memorable movie partnerships of recent years. The fact that they are clearly having fun playing off of each other really helps the film roll along, and their banter is reminiscent of Bad Boys and Lethal Weapon where two people who clearly shouldn't get along are in fact the most suited to each other.
Alongside our leads, we have several character actors all performing admirably and who do the best with the screen time they have. Bill Paxton's Earl is a black ops CIA agent who has nefarious means of his own, and who takes a delight in playing an unforgettable version of Russian roulette with the people he interrogates along the way. Paxton is another who is clearly having fun here, relishing the chance to play a villain again, and forming his lines with a slow Texas drawl that, with all its evil intent, is still devilishly charming.
Edward James Olmos also makes a welcome appearance as Mexican crime lord Papi Greco. Olmos's gruff demeanour levels the playing field somewhat, as everyone else around him is either hamming up the villainy or having way too much fun being an anti-hero. Olmos lets his quiet authority take over which lends itself well to the film, enabling him to create a distinct character with limited screen time.
Perhaps the worst to suffer are Paula Patton as Trench's on & off again girlfriend, and James Marsden as Stigman's commanding officer. Both are fine actors but suffer from limited roles. Patton's Debbie goes from highly confident Federal Agent to damsel in distress in the blink of an eye, and for someone so talented it seems a waste. Likewise Marsden applies himself well, but again suffers from the fact that there is no real meat behind his predictable role.
Director Baltasar Kormakur lends a steady hand to proceedings, and gives the action room to breathe alongside the quieter moments of the film. His only real setbacks are a complicated storyline which is bogged down by too many crosses and double crosses, alongside a cast of characters that is too large to truly do justice to all of them. Despite this, he has still crafted a light and fun action blockbuster that was one of the surprise hits of 2013, and with news of a possible sequel due, I would be more than happy to see where he takes us next.
The supplements for 2 Guns are fairly run of the mill stuff. The disc features a producer/director commentary, a making of documentary that is viewed in four parts and runs for 30 minutes and 12 minutes of deleted scenes.
The making of documentary, much like the film, is a lot of fun and further showcases how much fun the cast and crew had during the making of this movie. While it is never particularly insightful, it does provide a few different bits of information on the making of the film and how the actors were allowed a lot of freedom on set. The deleted scenes are fairly stock footage that were wisely left on the cutting room floor, and would have added nothing more to the film than an extended duration.
The DVD release of 2 Guns brings with it a solid picture and clear audio which never once falters. The picture is crisp and is at its best when showcasing the natural side of the American landscape. Likewise, the audio is distinct and clear, and provides a great sound throughout both the main feature and the extras.
A fun action blockbuster that is carried by its two stars, but let down by a complicated plot and a somewhat muddled direction in parts. Fans of buddy/cop dramas won't be let down though.