Mania Grade: B
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- Rated: R
- Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton
- Written By: Blake Masters (screenplay)
- Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur
- Distributor: Universal Studios
- Original Year of Release: 2013
- Special Features: See Below
2 Guns Blu-Ray Review
Wahlberg and Washington keep this action film afloat
By Tim Janson
December 11, 2013
2 Guns arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD
© Universal Bros. Home Entertainment
2 Guns is a fairly standard buddy action film elevated slightly on the strength of its two leads: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The film is based on a graphic novel published by Boom! Studios. Washington plays Robert Trench, and undercover DEA Agent and Wahlberg is Michael Stigman, and under cover Naval Intelligence Officer. The rub here is that neither one knows the other is undercover. They each think the other is a criminal in the process of making a buy and summarily taking down a Mexican drug lord named Papi Greco (Olmos). Their plan involves robbing a small-town New Mexico bank that Papi uses to launder money. However when they rob the bank, they found far more money than they expected…$43 million to be exact.
After the heist, Stigman follows orders to betray Trench and escape with the money. Bus discovering Tench is in law enforcement; he merely wounds him, rather than kill him. Stegman is then betrayed himself by his commanding officer, Quince (James Marsden) who attempts to have him killed in the desert. Stigman manages to escape and later meets up with Trench to try and figure out what is going on. When they kidnap and interrogate Greco, they discover that the money they stole belongs to the CIA and a psychotic Black Ops Agent named Earl (Paxton) is intent on getting every dollar back, no matter who he has to kill. He begins the bloodbath by killing Tench’s superior and framing him for the murder. The DEA Agent and Naval Intelligence Office have to put aside their own differences to stay alive and try to retrieve the money.
2 Guns offers little new in the way of the buddy cop/odd couple formula. As you would expect Washington plays the more straight forward role while Walhberg plays the smartass part. But both are so enjoyable that you can overlook the run-of-the-mill plot and the other one-dimensional characters. Olmos is laughably tame as a “ruthless” drug lord. At one point he captures the pair and hangs them upside down to beat them with baseball bats. Well, beat is a little harsh; he gives them a few love taps like he’s trying to bunt for a base hit. Paxton, however, steals the show as the sadistic CIA agent who enjoys forcing those he’s interrogating to play Russian Roulette.
Despite being based on a graphic novel, the film borrows a bit too liberally from the vastly superior 1973 caper film “Charley Varrick” in which Walter Matthau led a small-time band of crooks in the robbery of (again) a small-town New Mexico Bank only to find much more money than expected. There are shootouts aplenty as you might expect from the name as Trench and Stigman manages to fire their way out of one tight situation after another, each with more impossible odds than the previous. Director Baltasar Kormákur does a fine job with the action scenes but it’s the in-between scenes that bog things down and make the film seem even longer than 109 minutes.
The ending is predictable, especially in revealing the pair managed to stash away some of the money for them but it’s mostly a fun ride getting from beginning to end.
Audio Commentary with Director Baltasar Kormákur and Producer Adam Siegel
Click, Click, Bang, Bang: The Making of 2 Guns (30:18) – This is a four-part making of documentary that covers some of the main material discussed in the commentary but also features interviews with the cast as well as looks at wardrobe and weapons.
Deleted Scenes (11:50) – Eight deleted scenes are included although none of them are essential and in a film that is already stretched 10 – 15 minutes too long you can see why these were cut.