Friday 16 August 2013
With a promising opening scene and clear markers towards a dialogue heavy film, two star header 2 Guns' simplistic title appears to be a marketing ploy to play up the action elements of the film, of which there are many. Denzel Washington as Robert 'Bobby' Trench returns to familiar ground of being a charismatic, intelligent, government trained capable agent who may or may not have the best of intentions as in Training Day (2001) and the more inferior Safe House (2012). Mark Wahlberg is Bobby's partner Michael 'Stig' Stigman, at times the opposite but always the equal of Bobby in terms of intentions and having a particular kind of skill set.
Centring the story around a bank heist and the shadowland of Mexican cross border US relations there are 'bad guys' in the form of CIA agent Earl (Bill Paxton) and 20th Century physics icon Mexican gangster lookalike Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). Who can Bobby and Stig trust as they attempt to solve the case of the money they have themselves stolen creates the action of the film, though rarely ventures into a thrilling.
Washington and Wahlberg ably return rat-a-tat quick fire dialogue which is when the film written by Blake Masters is at it's best. This is not Lethal Weapon however, and though Wahlberg is the younger man, Washington is never depicted as being 'too old for this sh*t.' The action sequences are handled well by director Baltasar Kormákur (101 Reykyavik) and both stars are convincing in their roles. The film does however undercut itself in the plodding obvious plot. Paula Patton character as police officer and non-girlfriend to Bobby, Deb is a frustrating one dimensional female character. Patton's character creates a plot vacuum who's soul purpose is to play to female commitment stereotypes and two marginally gratuitous topless scenes.
James Marsden as Stig's commanding officer is interesting casting were it not for the near A-Team inability of any of his fellow naval personal being capable of firing accurately at their intended targets. There are entertaining exchanges between Washington and Wahlberg during the film and as a Friday night film 2 Guns is likely to find an audience. However, the film is no masterpiece and quite a missed opportunity for the obvious talents of Washington and Wahlberg to shine.
Star Rating: 3 stars out of 5, veering towards 2 1/2
2 Guns. USA 2013. Directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton...
Out today in the UK