REVIEW - 2 Guns

I knew next to nothing about "2 Guns" going in. I didn't know that it's based on a graphic novel (although I should have, because everything else is) and I didn't know Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, who did Contraband with Mark Wahlberg a year or so back, had directed it and I didn't know it also starred Bill Paxton, James Marsden and Edward James Olmos.

All I could tell you about 2 Guns was that it was a movie with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg and that they probably had a gun each. Or one of them had two guns, and the other had none. But that seemed a little unfair. The poster suggests it's one gun a piece and they use the guns to shoot their way out of a swarm of attacking Africanised bank notes.

It's actually an action comedy about a pair of criminals, Denzel as serious but the charming as hell Bobby "I Know A Guy" Beans and Markie Mark as the reckless but charming as hell Michael "Stig" Stigman, who turn out not to be criminals at all. 

Denzel is an undercover DEA agent investigating Mexican cartel leader Papi Greco and hoping to throw Stig in jail as an accomplice, while Stig is undercover Navy intelligence investigating cartel leader Papi Greco and hoping to shoot Bobby to tie up loose ends.

Neither are aware of the other's double life, which suggests that both DEA and Navy intel is somewhat lacking. These two fools (slash GUNS) have been riding around with each other for the best part of a year, each thinking the other is a two bit hustler.

Things are going tits up for both of their investigations when the drug henchman they've been individually working on turns up to work without a body under his hat rack, and they're forced to rob the sleepy Tres Cruces Savings & Loan to get at Papi's secret stash of $3 million and bang him for tax evasion (Al Capone style).

So they rob the bank like winners but there's a shit load more than £3 Million in there. There's $42.125 Million in fact. They learn one another's secret and their shaky alliance crumbles pretty rapidly, but the problems are just starting because Papi doesn't have that kind of cash and the people who DO have that kind of cash really would rather like it back.

Bill Paxton from Aliens is the enigmatic face of the wronged party, strutting around in a cowboy hat and bolo tie with a disarmingly lyrical Texan accent and a well practiced monologue about Russian Roulette. 

Bobby and Stig are forced to partner back up to suss the whole thing out and avoid being murdered by everyone, which rubs the hyper-detached Bobby right up the wrong side of his face. Stig just seems very excited to be out, like a dog in a car.

2 Guns, a film containing WAY more than two guns, is very funny and engaging. The story races along like it's trying to escape from the opening credits and there are some great action set pieces, plus a pretty realistic scuffle between Wahlberg and Washington that's not all cinematic haymakers and Jason Bourne-like parrying and blocking. Just looks like two fools having a scrap on the dusty ground, which is what all fights actually look like.

The plot is a little convoluted, and towards the end you get to wondering if they might have forgot to shoot the scene where someone tells you what the hell is going on, but it all comes out eventually and it's pretty satisfying. Denzel and Markie play off each other really well, and it actually seems like they got to be better friends as the movie went along, which is probably true. They have one of those relationships you get when you're forced to be mates with someone, like your girlfriend's brother or something, but then after a while it turns out he's pretty sound and you quite like him.

The movie isn't really made of anything and there's little in the way of hard substance, but it's fun and entertaining and has some proper actually make a sound when you laugh jokes (not Laugh Out Loud. That's ruined now. We're saying Actually Make A Sound When You Laugh, or AMASWYL)

Mark Wahlberg, who you know is brilliant, is brilliant and Denzel Washington, who you forgot was brilliant, still is. The supporting cast do a good job, but while they might all have guns at one point or another, they're not the 2 Guns and they never bloody will be.

Oh, also there's a full on extreme close up of tits in it for like... no reason.

3 out of 5

Words by Gazz Wood

2 Guns is in Cinemas August 16th (UK)
Click here for trailer on mobile/tablet

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