The Movie Waffler New Release Review - 2 Guns | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - 2 Guns

A Navy spy and a DEA agent get caught between a Mexican cartel and a crooked arm of the CIA.

Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos, Robert John Burke

DEA agent Bobby (Washington) and Naval Intelligence Officer Stig (Wahlberg) have formed a criminal alliance, neither man aware of the other's true identity. Bobby has been assigned with taking down Mexican cartel leader Papi Greco (Olmos) but struggles to gain sufficient evidence so he and Stig decide to steal $3 million of Greco's money from a bank north of the border so he can be charged with money laundering. When the men discover they've been playing each other, they find themselves caught in a three way conspiracy involving Greco, rogue Navy Officer Quince (Marsden) and corrupt CIA man Earl (Paxton).
'2 Guns' would seem to be aimed at males of a certain age, those old enough to fondly remember the great buddy action movies of the seventies and eighties; films like George Roy Hill's 'Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid', Walter Hill's '48 Hours' and Richard Donner's 'Lethal Weapon'. There's a thin line, however, between a loving throwback and a film that simply feels dated. Kormakur's film, based on a comic book, walks a tightrope over this line but quickly loses its balance and falls on the wrong side. He and his writer, Blake Masters, may have aimed for 'Butch & Sundance' but the result has far more in common with the likes of 'Harley Davison & the Marlboro Man'.
Most buddy movies contradict such a term, giving us a pair of protagonists who start off despising one another. This is where the conflict and comedy comes from. There's usually a clash of personalities, essentially a straight man/clown combo. '2  Guns' biggest problem is that Bobby and Stig are just too similar to each other, so the conflict is limited. Rather than two bickering characters, they  resemble a pair of actors hanging out and having fun. This would be fine if the dialogue was smart enough to carry the lack of drama, but the script makes 'Tango & Cash' sound like it was penned by David Mamet. Coming in the wake of Shane Black's quip-tastic 'Iron Man 3', the cheesy lines here provoke more groans than chortles.
With a growing list of misfires on his CV, Washington quickly needs to find a project worthy of his talent before he becomes the next Nicholas Cage.

Eric Hillis