Banter 1, Plot 0
Earlier this year, audiences experienced The Heat, which essentially took the standard buddy cop movie that is usually dominated by male actors and cast women in the lead roles. With 2 Guns, the guys are back in the lead and the result is… well, a standard buddy cop movie: emphasis on the “standard.”
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg play Robert ‘Bobby’ Trench and Michael ‘Stig’ Stigman, respectively. They are criminals with lots of connections, only they’re not… criminals, that is. Bobby works undercover for the DEA, while Stig is Naval Intelligence. Neither knows the other is working undercover. Their common goal is to take down a local drug lord, which they plan to expose by robbing the bank where he keeps his proceeds. The heist goes off okay, only they walk out with about forty million dollars more than they were expecting to. Whose money is it? To find out—and to stay alive—they’re going to have to work together.
That’s easier said than done as, despite their seemingly easy rapport, they just don’t trust one another. It’s their only option, however, as they soon find themselves pursued by multiple organizations, even those they initially thought were on their side.
The key to any successful buddy movie is the relationship between the two main characters. Do they have a rapport, a witty back-and-forth? Fortunately, the answer in the case of 2 Guns is “yes.” Although it would have been nice to get some backstory as to how these two characters came to unknowingly work undercover together, it is clear from the first moment we meet these two characters that they have established a connection, even if that connections isn’t based on some kind of trust. We first meet them at a small diner and it is clear that they have breakfasted together before. For the rest of the movie, it almost feels like a “one-liner” competition between the two actors and fortunately for the audience, the result is some laugh-out-loud dialogue.
Unfortunately, counteracting the successful actor chemistry is the movie’s plot; rather, the lack of one. There’s really nothing to the story. A lot of money is stolen from a bank vault and now everyone and their second cousin seems willing to kill in order to get it back. That’s pretty much it for the story and this thin plot is essentially just a means of transitioning the characters from one action scene to the next. That’s fine, but none of the action scenes are anything to write home about.
With any less popular actors in the lead roles, this movie probably would just come and go, before disappearing into obscurity. But the presence of Denzel and Marky Mark makes the movie work enough to make it worth a lazy afternoon rental somewhere down the road.
2 Guns is rated R for “violence throughout, language, and brief nudity.” It’s definitely an R movie and doesn’t try to be anything else.
Courtesy of a local publicist, Jeff attended a promotional screening of 2 Guns.