Monday, 12 August 2013

2 Guns (2013)


You’re shooting a gritty cop thriller; so, when in doubt, pick up the phone and call Denzel Washington’s agent. This often is sufficient in at the very least salvaging your box office hopes heading into pre-production. That appears to be the case with 2 Guns as Icelandic Contraband director Baltasar Kormakur goes for his third American production. With 2 guns, Kormakur again teams up with Mark Wahlberg, casting him alongside Washington. Although good opening weekend box office figures rolled in on Sunday afternoon, proving again that Denzel Washington is arguably Hollywood’s most reliable brand for action drama releases, 2 Guns does the star a great disservice. It’s lack of originality and overly calculated chaos fail to give his character in any sort of depth as we are used to seeing from Washington. Wahlberg can coast through performances with limited dialogue and cutesy tom foolery, but when we see Washington on a poster, we expect a bit more characterization.

2 Guns does not break the mold of most undercover cop dramas released in the last 15 years or so. Our protagonists are two bag men who unbeknownst to either, turn out to be working for different federal agencies. The plot unfolds rather quick at that point and I think that is part of the problem with 2 Guns: it lends no time to figure out exactly who these men really are and what motivates them. Deb (Paula Patton) plays the love interest to Bobby Trench (Washington) and delivers a very forgettable damsel in distress performance and leaves us wondering why the character was even written, as the storyline carries fine without her. Michael Stigman (Wahlberg) just provides comic relief and boyish charm, nothing about him made me sympathetic to his character’s plight. Bill Paxton’s Earl plays a shady overlord of sorts. He plays the part well, and I wish we could have explored this thread in greater detail. It all culminates a climactic shootout (of course), and while I love crime thrillers, this one is as predictable as it gets.

The action sequences are shot brilliantly and vividly which may have been the saving grace for 2 Guns if Hollywood hadn’t already showed us that it can and will be done better elsewhere. Oliver Wood (of the Bourne series fame) onboard as cinematographer is one of the best working today, and should be applauded for bringing us another beautifully shot film full of excellent sequences and perfect lighting.

Kormakur’s 2 Guns has all the necessary ingredients, and Denzel Washington will always provide smooth bad-assness. However, it simply lacks in depth. I left this one not knowing anything about what truly motivated our protagonists. That is what made Man on Fire such a joy to watch. In 2 Guns we get a lot of bangs but no real drama is to be found at its core.


  1. So not as bad as RIPD or 'White House Down' but still bad enough to make you wish summer were over. Or, in your case, winter.

    1. I couldn't even fathom seeing RIPD or White House Down...this was MUCH better than those I would guess. It just was rehashed cliche after rehashed cliche....which lately is symptomatic of action films and horror films I believe.