To be brutally honest, I didn’t go into the screening of “2 Guns” with an optimistic and open mind. Sure it’s starring Denzel Washington but, it also boasts Mark Wahlberg as the other lead. Don’t get me wrong, Markie Mark is a hunk (I’ve witnessed it with my own two eyes at the “2 Guns” Press Conference in NYC) but let’s face it, his caliber of acting isn’t on par with Washington–whose trophy shelves are decorated with two Golden Globes, a Tony and two Academy Awards. Shall we even mention that Denzel is coming off of “Flight”–an emotionally jarring and Oscar nominated film, and Mark Wahlberg is coming off of well, “Ted.”
“2 Guns” kicks off on a Mexican ranch, Denzel revealing his gold tooth through his signature charming smile. (God, he looks great for age–sorry, sidetracked). He’s smooth talking a Mexican drug cartel Papi Greco played by a convincing Edward James Olmos. The exchange doesn’t go as planned forcing Robert “Bobby” Trench (Washington) outside, where he meets his partner Michael ‘Stig’ Stigman (Wahlberg) who proclaims his pristine marksmanship by shooting off the heads of half buried chicken in a way the less-attractive, less-skilled cartel members around him, couldn’t.
We soon meet the obnoxiously gorgeous Paula Patton, who completes the trio, adding much need estrogen between Washington and Wahlberg’s macho man(iac) personas. She sweetens the pie. Washington and Patton are in cohoots, in more ways than one. When she isn’t backing his bank heist, she’s commanding his attention in the bedroom. Which all leads to the perfect scene–Patton wearing nothing but boyshorts and bundles of hair to cover her breasts, stradling Washington, after a long shift.
It’s all pretty cheesy, but oddly I’m into it. And that’s what “2 Guns” delivers outside of the traditional blow-em-up, shoot-em-up flick–pretty superb acting, almost too good for the cliche ridden story line. Bill Paxton’s commitment to his character– a ruthless, slow-talking, government official who uses Russian Roulette as his preferred method of torture– is admirable and convincing. He brought a credibility to the seriousness of the drug game that weakened with every laugh. And because there are tons of laughs, thanks to Mr. Wahlberg, who stays true to his personality.
Washington and Wahlberg’s bromance is actually fun to watch and adds much-needed substance to “2 Guns” over-the-top chase scenes and overt use of firearms in a time when gun violence is a hot topic. There are plenty of twists and turns in the 109 minute gun-flick and despite the corny lines that feel too familiar, “2 Guns” delivers what it promises: action, grit and eye-candy. It isn’t going to garner an Academy Award nomination, but it’s entertaining like you would hope a buddy-cop flick would be. It was better than I expected. The bull scene is worth seeing. Date night approved.
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