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2 Guns
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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Interesting buddy film undone by ceaseless violence

5/10
Author: gregeichelberger from San Diego
31 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If ever a motion picture suffered enough schizophrenia for a roomful of Sigmund Freuds, it's "2 Guns," the newest effort from director Baltasar Kormákur ("Contraband") starring Mark Wahlberg ("Ted") and Denzel Washington (coming off of his Oscar-nominated turn in "Flight").

While the running thread of the mismatched black and white partners forced to work together has been a staple since 1958′s "The Defiant Ones," this movie cannot seem to decide if it wants to be a cleverly-bantered buddy flick in that vein, a serious crime drama, a fast-paced tale of worldwide illegal drug operations or a violent action adventure (although there is certainly enough of that latter element to go around).

In the end, it may just be enough to describe it as lightweight — albeit confusing — filmcraft which fills the week, earns a one-time top spot at the box office and is forgotten by the time "Elysium" or "Planes" rolls around. One could do worse than to pay full price to see this, but one would certainly do better to seek matinée fare.

The plot, as equally convoluted as "Contraband," has Washington as DEA agent Robert 'Bobby' Trench, who is in deep cover trying to get close to and bust drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos, "The Green Hornet").

During a complicated bank heist (that nets more than $40 million instead of the $3 million that was expected) with partner Michael 'Stig' Stigman (Wahlberg) - who turns out to be a Naval Intelligence officer, the two find themselves wrapped in a mystery and stuffed into an enigma — and on the run from every element in the movie who wants the cash for themselves.

The solution to this deadly dilemma? Combine forces and try to find out what's going on and who wants them out of the way. Of course, they both hate one another immediately (come on, we've all seen these type of films before) and they feel each other out like two boxers, substituting jabs with witty dialogue and ceaseless quips.

Soon, with a vested interest in staying alive and attempting to keep each other in that same condition, a grudging respect and mutual friendship emerges. Oh, and then it's time to blast the bad guys to Kingdom Come.

Yes, the derivative element now rears its head and this buddy picture veers off into a scene of utter death and destruction and — just as suddenly — back again. It's a pattern Kormákur uses again and again, and while it may provide him and writers Blake Masters (screenplay) and Steven Grant (based on his graphic novel series of the same name) some sense of satisfaction, the herky-jerky pacing of "2 Guns" may leave many in the audience trying to both catch their collective breath and wrap their mind around what's going on.

Still, there is more than decent support from Bill Paxton ("Haywire") and James Marsden ("Straw Dogs") as possible traitorous allies/adversaries, and the cast seems up to the task, but the underlying message that the international drug trade is so tempting EVERYONE seems to want a piece of it seems to overwhelm even the most talented on-screen performers at times. Like "The Eiger Sanction," you will not be able to trust anyone in this film.

One can trust the banter to continue, though, with "Stig" playing the patsy (he's incredibly naive, mispronounces words and makes some unbelievably stupid decisions that Washington has to somehow correct - it's difficult to believe that a Naval officer could be such a moron) while Bobby rolls his eyes heavenward and both continue to blow the villains to small (and very graphic, at times) pieces, drowning out the more cerebral parts of the movie.

With the quality of the two leads, both Academy Award nominees (with Washington a two-time winner) one would expect bigger and better things. As it is, however, "2 Guns" doesn't exactly misfire, fitting somewhere above "Fled" and significantly below "48 Hrs." in the genre pool.

Had the director just eased up a bit on the violent aspects and let the leads play off each other more (like Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy were allowed to do), though, "2 Guns" might have been a much more effective and interesting addition to the category.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Nothing new in this comic-book action-comedy buddy-movie.

5/10
Author: Bo Atdrinks from United Kingdom
20 August 2013

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg star as the main characters in this action-comedy set in a world of bank-robbing, drug-dealing and double-crossing.

Working together, the two stars decide to rob a bank, but things don't turn out as expected. The problem is that instead of failing, the robbery is too successful. It is the old problem of having too much money. There are other complications too.

The film is hip, chic and stylish, so too are our two stars. They engage in fast repartee which has been described as Tarantino-esque. This reviewer thought it was standard wise-guy humour but delivered at a speed which made it difficult to take in. Denzel Washington plays the more mature and sensible of the two. Mark Wahlberg by contrast plays the more impetuous, cocky, loud-mouthed role. Both convince in their roles from the start and continue to convince as their roles develop during the film.

There is not much plot to this film. What there is reminded this reviewer of a couple of 1973 films; 'Charley Varrick' starring Walter Matthau, and 'The Outfit' starring Robert Duvall, in both of which Joe Don Baker also appeared. Unlike both those films, and similar ones, this film goes for comedy rather than realistic gritty violence. There are hints, but most of the violence is comic book rather than realistic. In this, '2 Guns' is the opposite of the recent 'The Heat'. 'TH' was played for laughs, and had laughs, much more than this film. 'TH' also had more gritty violence than this film. While 'TH' was more like '48 Hrs', sadly, '2G' is more like the 'A-Team'.

All of this does not mean that this is a bad film, just that it is not a great film. As a buddy-movie it is standard. Our two stars have to do the usual thing of working together, and working out their differences, as they are beset by many difficulties. It is perhaps the lack of realism that lets down this film. If it were a straight action-thriller with more realistic scenarios it might have worked better.

As it is though, this is a pleasant enough buddy-movie; if you are happy to pass a couple of hours, go in with low expectations, and don't expect anything extra. There are of course a few twists, but nothing very surprising. If you are looking for surprising twists, try 'Now You See Me'. As buddy-movies go, '2 Guns' passes the time, but 'The Heat' is the superior of the two.

The film is greatly improved by great support from Bill Paxton and Edward James Olmos. Playing their roles to the hilt, these two thespians are a joy to behold.

If dear reader, like me, you find it difficult to be moved by even the most emotional of scenes, you may find the explanation at the end of the film. The closing credits inform us that this film comes from a graphic-novel. This is the only explanation that I needed, to explain why I found it rather light-weight. A very plot-lite 5/10.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

You've seen this before...but not with Denzel and Wahlberg...

7/10
Author: Big_D_Box_Office_Score from United States
5 August 2013

Every movie poster and commercial you see prominently shows off Denzel and Wahlberg, and practically nothing else. And it's an accurate description of the movie - the two stars carry the entire film from start to end. And that's not really a bad thing...the two of them work very well together. They seem to gel naturally and have fun together, almost to the point where you wonder if some of the script is being ad-libbed by them. You really didn't need much of anything else - just give those two enough bodies to shoot at, and enough screen time to talk in between the shooting. (But I will say that Edward James Olmos plays a solid role as the drug kingpin "Papi Greco", and Paula Patton is easy on the eyes...)

The story itself is all over the place...Denzel and Wahlberg are two undercover agents (DEA and Naval Intel, respectively) that get caught up in a huge crossfire between their two agencies, the CIA, and a powerful drug lord, and it becomes a question of who's playing who? The obvious solution to it all, of course, is to kill everyone and blow up a few things in the process. You can catch a hint of graphic novel-styling in the whole thing (yes, this is technically a comic-book movie!)

Overall, the movie was much better than I expected...maybe I shouldn't have underestimated Denzel and Wahlberg, especially in laid-back action roles where they can add some humor into the mix. My thought going in was that this will be the same movie we've seen a hundred times...and it was. But it's DENZEL and WAHLBERG doing this one. If you're a fan of either of these two guys, the movie is a safe bet.

2 Guns scores a 3.5 of out 5 on The BDBOS.

(Fun fact: During development, the movie had Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson cast as the lead roles...this movie would have been WAAAAAAY different...but I think we got the best of that trade...lol) (My friends, if you enjoyed this review, perhaps I could interest you in my humble little page... www.facebook.com/TheBDBOS. Stop by and say wussup!)

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good movie, but not great!

Author: dcaixinha
13 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movies was fun to see mainly by the talent of the two leading actors. The plot of the movie is sometimes messy and somethings are left unexplained, but overall I really enjoyed watching it! Personally I didn't have much expectations about the movie and it turned out to be what I expected, but on the other hand the movie didn't disappoint me either. It is one of those movies where you aren't sure about what to expect from the next scene, since the characters are always turning on each other. The final was really unpredictable and, as a person that most of the time doesn't like the endings of the movies, I think that this one was OK!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Decent action, less than decent plot

6/10
Author: ThatWasVeryAwesome from United States
10 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You'd think an action movie starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg would be an action packed thrill ride, but unfortunately this one comes up kind of short. Do not get me wrong, both actors bring strong performances to the table, its the plot that really drops the ball. Bill Paxton did play a great villain as a dirty C.I.A. agent who wants his money back. On the other hand it was hard believing James Marsden was a dirty Naval Officer. The rest of the supporting cast played typical cliché roles that you'd expect from drug lords and criminals.

The fact that this movie is about two undercover agents from two different branches of law enforcement that are both trying to set the other one up is somewhat far fetched to me. Not only that but they end up stealing money from yet another branch of government. The film keeps making plot twists every time Washington and Wahlberg uncover a new piece of evidence. The writers should have tried to make this movie less complex, and more straight forward and added more action.

When there was action it was a lot of fun to see the pair whoop ass on screen. These two action juggernauts were a couple of walking wrecking balls. Plus their repartee together was also refreshing from the rest of the cast. These two basically saved the movie completely and makes it worth a watch if you have some free time. That's why I am giving this movie a 6 out of 10.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A wink too many.....

7/10
Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
24 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Trench, an undercover DEA agent, takes advantage of gunman Stigman's idea to rob a bank.

But it proves too successful with more money seized than imagined with Trench's forces not stopping the getaway. Complicating things still more, Stigman turns out to be Naval Intelligence, and shoots Trench, and takes the money.

This then finds Trench and Stigman in a web of corrupt rivalries as they are hunted, blackmailed and isolated for the money on both sides of the law.

Now, the pair must work together to find a way out of this situation with no one to turn to but themselves.....

Remember back in the eighties when buddy cop movies used to be the biggest action movie draw this side of 'Die Hard in a......'. Lethal Weapon paved the path, and was followed by the like of Red Heat and Tango and Cash.

Then all of a sudden, the movies for poorer and poorer, and they eventually stopped.

This tries to retread this path with an impressive cast, but very little that we haven't seen before.

Washington can do this stuff in his sleep, and here he goes back to Virtuosity territory, just to get a good pay packet. Wahlberg plays the slightly sillier one, which means in Hollywood he gets all the best lines and gets in the most trouble.

It looks really good, the director has definitely seen too many Tony Scott movies, and it's entertaining enough, just not original enough to be anything other than average.

And Washington rarely makes average movies.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not even entertaining

3/10
Author: Chris L from France
17 November 2013

We're under the impression that Baltasar Kormákur and his writers compiled all the most classical elements of the blockbuster action movie in order to create an ultra conventional ensemble which coherence isn't so obvious.

The plot is disorganized, choppy, the transitions are often rather brutal, the rhythm isn't fluid, the dialogues are qualitatively very weak as is the low end humour.

The expected success of this film partially relied on Wahlberg and Washington, and if the former is as usual average but relatively effictive, the latter, who is often able to solely carry a movie on his shoulders, does the bare minimum here. The duo is merely correct, but to its credit, it wasn't helped by the completely unrefined script of this not even entertaining movie one will forget as soon as finished.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Got it right !!

9/10
Author: sschand88 from India
10 November 2013

To start with the chemistry between to the 2 guns (lead roles) Denzel and Mark was outstanding. They were cool and fitted the roles so damn good. The roles were like a taylor finish, made totally for them. The casting was too good for the other casts like the Mexican and the cia guy. Patton did a fine job, not a huge role though like she had in the Ghost Protocol.

I am a huge fan of Denzel. He's like the one of the finest actors in Hollywood. I'd never miss his movies. This movie might not have a platform for his skills though. Mark on the other hand had really turned into a matured actor. I was a bit taken back with his performance in the Ted. I haven't enjoyed his acting much but this one surprised me. His humour was top notch. Director got the combinations so damn right. It clicked them well.

The plot was simple and neat. It totally depends on the two main roles. It's mostly about taking revenge. Don't want reveal or get any deeper about the roles. A good action flick to enjoy. I had a great time watching it.

Good action stuffs and a Very good entertainer.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You can't go wrong when Denzel Washington is on set

7/10
Author: Avihoo Ilan from Israel
13 September 2013

Without getting too much into the specifics of the plot which doesn't really matter. This movie is not a serious action movie and should not be treated as such. Instead, expect an easy going comical take on the supposed relationship between drug related organized crime and government agencies.

The movie creates some sort of serious mystery to-be-discovered premise, but then discards it and moves on to pure comical action. I personally feel it served it much better.

The action itself is pretty engaging - there aren't long moments of talk and suspense and trying to figure what's what.

And then there's Denzel Washington doing his bit with a cool Mark Wahlberg kicking everyone's ass while having fun (not my words).

Either way, if you're looking for a film to watch in the cinema and won't go for this one because it says "action" in the genre; you really should consider it as "comedy" and just go ahead and watch it.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Typical Buddy Buddy Movie!

8/10
Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
16 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With two great actors in Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as both men have very good chemistry. As it has a love-hate relationship with both of them.

As neither of them know that they are working for the good guys. Denzel a DEA agent and Mark works for NCIS. As they rob a bank and burn stuff along the way. In trying to bring each other down.

But when they realize that they robbed the CIA lead by Bill Paxton of $43M. And a drug kingpin played by the great but underrated Edward James Olmos is after the two. Along with the military led by James Mardsen.

Now they have twenty-four hours to return the money to the "rightful owners" but who deserves it the most? Typical buddy buddy movie but one of fun!

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