Film Review: 2 Guns

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Plot: While trying to take down a drug kingpin (Edward James Olmos), two undercover agents are unaware they are playing one another. When all is revealed, DEA Agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and Naval Officer Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) become the target of several different factions while still being weary of each other.

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If you’ve been desperate for a good buddy cop movie, then 2 Guns is everything you’ve been waiting for. While there’s a lot to be mediocre about with this film, the chemistry between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg fires on all cylinders, and that’s enough to make 2 Guns a fun little romp.

From the very first scene, you instantly buy their camaraderie. It’s the cliche ‘hey, these guys are at a diner’ bit, but their banter is infectious. This is really a credit to the actors though as the dialogue is nothing to write home about. Denzel Washington is his usual awesome self, just a solid performance all around as the grisly loner DEA Agent Bobby Trench.

What shocked me about this movie though is Mark Wahlberg may have actually outshined him. What I liked about his performance is that he commits himself 100% to a comedic character. Wahlberg plays naval officer Michael ‘Stig’ Stigman, and he is legitimately funny. He’s like an excited ten year old kid who can’t stop asking questions, and Wahlberg nails it. I’ve never been the biggest Wahlberg fan, but he’s been growing on me, and this is a guy who clearly needs to do more comedy. Even in his best role in The Departed, it’s more of a comedic turn than a dramatic one. While it’s a been there, done that grumpy older cop paired with the younger energetic annoying cop, Washington and Wahlberg create characters you want to see more of.

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Unfortunately there aren’t any other characters to write home about. Paula Patton plays a fairly forgettable love interest to Washington’s character, the film completely wastes Edward James Olmos and James Marsden, and Bill Paxton plays one of the most annoying villains I can remember in a while. I don’t know if it was the writing or the acting, but this character wasn’t threatening, wasn’t funny, and just really irritated me for some reason. Paxton is usually an okay actor, but he’s atrocious in this movie.

While I love the first scene, the movie takes a little while to get going as the first act doesn’t have Washington and Wahlberg on screen together a lot. Even though its not the most compelling plot ever, once it’s primarily focused on just them, it progressively gets better making for a really fun third act. There’s some good action, including a lot of scenes with bulls running around, so that’s always a good thing, right?

If this movie had some good antagonists and better supporting characters, it could have been great. But Washington and Wahlberg alone make this worth checking out. The only thing that really pissed me off about Wahlberg’s character was all the gum chewing. Seriously, stop chewing gum! I get it, you like gum! But if you’ve been dying for another Lethal Weapon, this is a worthy option. I’d love to see these characters back again in a much better film.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.