Susan Granger's review of '2 Guns'
Published 3:07 pm, Friday, August 9, 2013
What do you get if you combine two trigger-happy movie stars with lots of weaponry? This summer's latest variation on the formulaic, mismatched buddy-cop genre in which a pair of bank robbers are, unbeknownst to each other, actually working as undercover government agents.
A cool professional, Robert "Bobby Beans" Trench (Denzel Washington) is dispatched to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel led by ruthless Papi Greco (Edward James Almos), while impulsive Marcus "Stig" Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) is a naval intelligence operative assigned to steal from narcotics suppliers so that the money can be filtered into a fund used for Navy SEAL black-ops missions across the border. But then a bungled bank heist reveals their mutual deception, leaving them rejected by their respective organizations and tracked by Earl (Bill Paxton), a ruthless southern enforcer who is determined to get back the missing $43 million and resorts to unorthodox Russian roulette.
Based on Steven Grant's Boom! Studios five-issue comic book series, illustrated by Mateus Santolouco, it's simplistically adapted by Blake Masters (creator of Showtime's "Brotherhood") and directed by Icelandic actor-turned-filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur ("Contraband") with emphasis on brutal, action-filled shootouts, explosions and car chases.
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What works is the bickering bantering, the comedic macho camaraderie. What doesn't work is the absurdly convoluted plot that's so filled with nefarious complications and double-crosses that it stops making any sense at all. Confusion reigns until the climactic confrontation at Papi's ranch in Mexico. As the only notable female character, Paula Patton plays Bobby's duplicitous DEA cuddle/colleague who contributes some gratuitous nudity. And advocates against animal cruelty will be appalled by the stupid, sadistic `sport' shooting of chickens that are buried in the ground up to their necks.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "2 Guns" triggers a flummoxed, forgettable 5. Bang! Bang! Boring.