Thanks to Sony Pictures, we had the chance to see Baltasar Kormákur’s ‘2 Guns’ before its national Australian release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!
Bobbi Trench (Denzel Washington) is an undercover DEA-agent who is pretending to be a drug dealer in order to capture Mexican drug boss Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). Bobbi teams up with a young hustler called Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg), who actually works for the navy. Trench and Stigman have no idea that they are both undercover. When the duo robs a bank where Greco supposedly keeps his money, they find many more millions than they expect to. It turns out the cash belongs to the sadistic Earl (Bill Paxton), who will stop at nothing to get his millions back.
‘2 Guns’ is an action movie that misfires on most fronts. Many silly action films can still be immensely entertaining, but the problem with ‘2 Guns’ is that it tries to be better and wittier than it is by being overly complicated. It also attempts to be a buddy cop film but fails to become one since it just doesn’t get the tone right. The most important rule for a buddy cop-movie is that it should be fun, but in its attempts to be a serious thriller ‘2 Guns’ is no fun, especially because of its copious amounts of sadistic violence.
The chemistry between Wahlberg and Washington is undeniably great, but the idea was obviously that they’d be the next ‘Lethal Weapon’ or ’48hrs’-style- team. However, due to director Baltasar Kormákur forgetting to add in some tongue in cheek, all the banter between them comes across as over the top macho stuff. Best example of this is how‘2 Guns’ rips off the “head or gut”-joke from The Last Boyscout – another buddy cop-classic – where one character swears to beat up his partner by kicking him in the face or the stomach. Since ‘2 Guns’ tries to make the joke cooler by involving guns in it, it straight away stops being funny because it goes too far.
Baltasar Kormákur’s Hollywood debut ‘Contraband’ didn’t live up to expectations, and this second US effort by the Icelandic director is no better. Mark Wahlberg obviously believes in this guy and the star power of the former Funky Bunch frontman attracts other A-listers. But don’t be fooled by the impressive supporting cast that includes Bill Paxton, Paula Patton, James Marsden and Fred Ward; movie-wise you are still looking at a straight-to-DVD movie of the type that would usually have the likes of Nic Cage, Val Kilmer or 50 Cent in the lead roles. Speaking of Val Kilmer, this man is actually indirectly responsible for one of the good things about ‘2 Guns’ : for a few years now Kilmer has successfully been lobbying for the New Mexico Government trying to lure film- and tv productions to shoot in the scenic southern desert state, and ‘2 Guns’ is one of the films that took advantages of New Mexico’s tax incentives. The movie prominently features the state’s famous amazing red rock desert landscapes.
In the U.S.‘2 Guns’ came out months ago and it is puzzling why the film is only released in Australia in an October month that is filled with several much much stronger releases. With thrill-packed quality blockbusters like ‘Gravity’, ‘Rush’, ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Captain Phillips’ showing in cinemas, ‘2 Guns’ might struggle to find its audience in spite of having two usually reliable box office magnets in the lead roles.
‘2 Guns’ – Only at the Movies 10 October 2013