Film Review: 2 Guns

by Gordon Elgart on August 2, 2013

Quote for the poster: This movie will blow away your expectations!

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg steal a bit more money than they were expecting in 2 Guns.

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg steal a bit more money than they were expecting in 2 Guns.

There are two reviews I can write about the new Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg vehicle, 2 Guns. The first is for people who have not seen the trailer or read a synopsis. These people are going to be rewarded by a movie with some true surprises, well-hidden character twists, and an all-star cast doing good work. The second is for people who have seen the film’s marketing. For them, I expect the experience to be terrible, as they already know the answers to all the questions the film asks. For them, and this “them” unfortunately included me, it’ll create anger for a ruined experience.

READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM’S MARKETING

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are great as a pair of low-life mystery men, showing great chemistry in early scenes as they case the scene for an upcoming bank robbery. We’re slowly shown why they’re robbing the place, and what their motives are, through a series of reveals, both surprising and plainly obvious. Things go wrong, and they have to get to the bottom of it. The construction of the movie always leaves you guessing at who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy, who’s double crossing whom and why, and it all entertainingly leads down a well-worn path of buddy crime capers.

READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILM’S MARKETING

For some reason, a guy from the U.S. Navy is undercover trying to bring down an undercover DEA agent through a plot that makes no sense, even as they steal more money than they were expecting from the CIA. Edward James Olmos is fantastic as a Mexican drug kingpin, and a series of fun supporting performances, from James Marsden as a corrupt naval officer to Bill Paxton as a sadistic CIA agent, lead to what feels like an old fashioned shoot ’em up.

EVERYONE CAN READ THIS FINAL PARAGRAPH

Here are the best reasons to see 2 Guns, which I do recommend, as it actually is the sort of summer popcorn flick that much worse movies are trying to be. Denzel Washington cashing a paycheck is better than any other actor; even when he mails it in, he does it with a fancy envelope and a beautiful handwritten address. Mark Wahlberg is really funny in comic performances, and this basically is a comic performance. 2 Guns will not change your life, it won’t educate you, but it will entertain you.

2 Guns opens today in SF Bay Area theaters.

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The trailer, which usually goes here, has been left out by design. If you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t see it. See the movie instead.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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