2 Guns (Baltasar Kormákur, 2013)
I must admit that what most impressed me about this film was the decision, in a season of sequels, to put the 2 at the front of the title . . .
What impressed me the least was the slew of terrible trailers at the start. Finally, however, in the midst of the tedium, there were two films that looked kind of interesting: American Hustle and The Counselor, both due later this year. Stay tuned.
2 Guns is not a great, or even good, film, by any means, but it is fairly watchable through most of it, until the end, when the shootouts become annoyingly generic, and someone dies who didn’t need to (which left a really bad taste in my mouth). It seems as if big budget filmmakers frequently cannot resist the allure of mindless mayhem, even in otherwise decent fare. Such was the case, for instance, in Man of Steel.
Denzel Washington, as Bobby, and Mark Wahlberg, as Stig – two guys who may or may not be hoods, cops, or crooked cops – are the two real reasons to see the film. They have great chemistry – even more than do Denzel and Paula Patton (who is so lovely that it almost hurts just to look at her). This is truly a bro-mance for the ages. Its mantra? “You fight for the guy who’s fighting next to you.”
Edward James Olmos also isn’t bad, but there isn’t enough of him. Bill Paxton is miscast and not that interesting. Paula Patton, as previously mentioned, is heart-stopping (I hope you treat her well, Robin Thicke!).
The plot, such as it is, is fairly ridiculous. Let’s let Manohla Dargis (positive) and Mick LaSalle (negative) do the heavy lifting on the summary. I, for one, am still a bit confused (and for the record, I’m halfway between Dargis and LaSalle in terms of where I stand). When the film worked, it was a fun ride; when it didn’t, it was still no worse than most action flicks. If you like the two leads, you’ll probably enjoy 2 Guns.