2 Guns Review: One For The Money, Two For The Show. And It’s A Good Show
For a long time, I've been a fan of Denzel Washington. When I first heard about this film many months ago, I knew I wanted to check it out. I discovered it was based on a comic series of the same name and found it intriguing that Denzel was cast as a character who in the comics, is white. Certainly Washington would give this film a different kind of flavor than what one might expect from a different actor paired with Mark Wahlberg. Speaking of Wahlberg, the mere thought of a pairing between he and Washington seems so random and unexpected that you have to check it out just to see if it is worth your time. After having seen it, I can say that it is absolutely worth it, but not simply because Washington does what he does best.
It's also because Wahlberg does what he does best. This film is really about the chemistry between the two actors and it is great. I think one of the most awesome things about this film is the elements the two bring to their respective roles. Washington brings a very dry wit that suits him well his role as the older, smooth operator, while Wahlberg's comedic timing is golden as the sharp-shooting (figuratively and quite literally) younger partner. They make a great pair and are almost reminiscent of an alternate version of Riggs and Murtaugh from the grandfather of all buddy-cop films, Lethal Weapon
and its sequels. This film is essentially one in the buddy-cop genre albeit with a twist.
And one of the main twists, aside from the many that can be found in the plot, is that you don't really know a ton about these guys' backstories. I would argue that you don't really need to for this film to work. All you know is that they are working together to do bad things, but they really have their own agendas and then you realize that things are not at all what they seem. Doesn't sound original? That's probably because it isn't really, but that doesn't mean that you can't have a good time watching how the two leads elevate the unoriginal elements of the film.
I want to backtrack a bit and talk about the fact that while this is an action film, which both Washington and Wahlberg have quite a bit of experience doing, it is also a comedy. Wahlberg isn't necessarily a stranger to comedy having stretched his comedic muscles with films like 2001's Rockstar,
last year's Ted
or even this year's Pain & Gain
. For Washington however, it is new territory, which is no doubt interesting especially when you consider the fact that nearly his whole career is composed of more serious and dramatic works. We all know Denzel can do serious, so it was surprising in a good way to see him with all his style and charisma in a lighter film that is, for all intents and purposes, more style than substance and it's great fun.
Some standouts in the supporting cast area are Bill Paxton, who is probably at the top of the list as the big villain and Edward James Olmos is next. James Mardsen turned in a surprising and solid performance in the first villainous role I've seen him in and he made it count. Paula Patton is solid enough, but she wasn't around enough for me. I'll also admit that at least once or twice I felt that she went a bit overboard with the delivery of some of her lines. Aside from that she wasn't bad.
So, the question: is 2 Guns
worth your time? I would say it's definitely worth a look, as most films with A-list actors certainly are. This is a straight-forward action comedy that doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it promises. It is at times gritty, but has real character and lives and dies by the chemistry that Washington and Wahlberg bring to the table. So if you see it for nothing else, see it for them since, that's really what you'd be paying for. And I think you'd get your money's worth.