Not 2 Bad for an August Movie

2 Guns puts solid twist on buddy comedy genre

2 Guns puts solid twist on buddy comedy genre

The movie 2 Guns is exactly what you expect to come out in the month of August. It’s still ostensibly a summer movie, so it stars two well-known actors, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

But it’s far from a blockbuster-type film, so the action it delivers is much lower key than you’d get in a one that comes out in May, June or July. The two guns are Bobby (Washington) and Stig (Wahlberg), who both think the other is merely a gun-for-hire who’s good at criminal activities such as drug running, bank robbing and anything else good criminals do.

 Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg have surprisingly good chemistry together, and their interplay keeps the movie going.

Neither knows that they’re both undercover government agents: Bobby with the DEA and Stig with U.S. Navy Intelligence — which is a real job, but probably not the way it’s portrayed here.

The main story contains so many double-crosses and hidden identities that detailing any part of it threatens to unravel all of it. But suffice it to say that Bobby and Stig are forced to rely on each other when many others — on both sides of the law — prove to be less than trustworthy.

Compared with other films that seem to glorify violence, 2 Guns is relatively mild. It’s not bloodless, but the majority of its violence isn’t graphic. And the two main characters only go after those who would do them harm, always making sure to avoid collateral damage.

In fact, most of the film is essentially a buddy comedy. Wahlberg is the motormouth who gets most of the funny lines and quirks, but Washington gets in a few good moments too. The duo have surprisingly good chemistry together, and their interplay is what keeps the movie going through its more implausible segments.

The movie is sold on the talents of Washington and Wahlberg, and neither disappoints. Paula Patton makes an effective third wheel as another DEA agent. Bill Paxton, who’s been mostly absent from movies for the past decade, hams it up nicely as the leader of a shadowy group. And Edward James Olmos lends a little gravitas to an otherwise unsubstantial role as head of a Mexican drug cartel.

The summer may be winding down, but 2 Guns proves that there’s still a little bit of entertainment value in an August movie release.

2 Guns with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg play two guns-for-hire in 2 Guns. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
2 Guns with Paula Patton and Denzel Washington
Paula Patton and Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
2 Guns with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg
2 Guns with Paula Patton and Denzel Washington