'2 Guns': Stripped down action
MANILA, Philippines - Amidst the glut of big summer movies and CGI extravaganzas, "2 Guns" is a stripped down, fun action movie. While it has the speed and action of those other movies, it relies on old familiar tropes to build excitement and tell the story. All in all, it makes for a fun couple of hours of viewing.
Playing a variation on the buddy-cop formula, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg play two agents working for different agencies, the DEA and Naval Intelligence respectively. They each don't know that the other is working undercover. They pull off a bank heist, thinking that's the way to blow the lid off of the cases they are working. But it's only the beginning.
Buddy cop mode
Washington and Wahlberg are both actors that have lots of charisma. Throwing them together here pays off, as the two, with the minimal space they have, manage to make interesting characters. Make no mistake, they aren't totally believable characters, but then none of this film plays for total believability. It is an exercise genre, and within the buddy cop mode, these two bounce off each other well, delivering lots of funny quips that never feel forced.
As an exercise in genre, where the case gets bigger and more complicated, expanding and moving up the criminal food chain, the movie is incredibly fun. The little twists and revelations are just surprising enough to keep you going. And when complications are thrown in the way of these characters, it's a lot of fun watching them work their way out of them.
Wahlberg gets to have a lot of fun with his character. He's gun-slinging and winking at girls and swaggering, chewing up the scenery. He's testing the limits of his charm, and it's even funnier when he goes overboard and is obnoxious.
The movie is based on a comic-book series, and with that knowledge you can almost pick apart the spots that would have been the various books' cliffhangers. In that way this movie works terrifically in providing a lot of suspense and a lot of events that keep you engaged.
Part of the engagement comes from exciting action sequences. While this has a lot of car chases and shootouts, and these are very well done too, this movie has a number of stealth sequences that will have viewers holding their breath. There's variety here, and the classic vibe of shootouts and Mexican standoffs sets it apart. It knows the tradition it is operating in, and it lovingly follows the conventions, adding just the right amount of attitude to make it interesting.
"2 Guns" isn't anything special though. It isn't an important film to watch by any measure. And you won't have missed much if you skip out on it. In fact if you aren't into action flicks, I'd recommend you go watch something else.
For a cool time at the theaters though, "2 Guns" is a great pick. It's sleek, it's stylized to just the right amount. It is fast-paced and keeps you guessing. It throws in a great supporting cast that make this mix even wilder. It's undeniably funny, if at times a little too smug and happy with itself. But, hey, that's part of the film's charm. And the action here is well-directed and choreographed. The movie even manages to sneak in smart little bits of social commentary.
Like action-comedy? Like buddy-cop flicks? "2 Guns" is the movie you want to be watching. - Rappler.com
Here's the trailer: