2 Guns (R16)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/08/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

Enjoyable, pacily directed and pleasingly old fashioned buddy cop thriller enlivened by a witty script and engaging chemistry between Wahlberg and Washington.

What's it all about?
Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, 2 Guns is based on the Boom! Studios graphic novels by Steven Grant and stars Denzel Washington as undercover DEA agent Bobby Trench, who robs a bank with motor-mouthed partner Michael 'Stig' Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) – unaware that Stig is also an undercover agent, for Naval Intelligence - in order to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel headed by Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). However, when the pair get away with much more money than they were expecting, they are forced to go on the run, pursued by their respective bosses (Robert John Burke and James Marsden), the cartel and a ruthless CIA hitman (Bill Paxton).

The Good
Wahlberg and Washington have an appealingly sparky chemistry that harks back to the likes of classic buddy cop thrillers such as Lethal Weapon – there's even the regulation “manly tussle in the dirt” scene. Wahlberg is particularly good value, talking nineteen to the dozen throughout and basically winging it, while there are colourful turns from the likes of Edward James Olmos and James Marsden, though the supporting honours are roundly stolen by Bill Paxton, who's both chilling and darkly funny as the CIA-sponsored killer.

The plot is basically nonsense, but the script has fun with the various twists and turns and the dialogue frequently throws up an amusing one-liner, even if they're not quite as laugh-out-loud hilarious as the filmmakers obviously think they are. On top of that, Kormakur maintains a decent pace throughout and orchestrates a number of satisfying shoot outs and suspense moments along the way.

The Bad
It's fair to say that some of the comedy character moments don't quite ring true (such as Washington insisting on shooting Wahlberg because he shot him in an earlier scene, like a school bully who always has to get in the last punch). Similarly, Paula Patton is distinctly under used as Bobby's colleague-slash-love interest, though in a testosterone heavy film like this, that's not particularly surprising (the only other female character is a waitress Wahlberg flirts with in the opening scene).

Worth seeing?
2 Guns isn't exactly breaking any new ground, but it's a solidly enjoyable buddy cop thriller with a decent script and a winning partnership between Wahlberg and Washington. Worth seeing.

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2 Guns (R16)
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Content updated: 25/02/2020 09:52

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