2 Guns sees Mark Wahlberg re-team with Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, with whom he found success with on 2012’s Contraband. The pair have since turned their sights onto an action-packed buddy movie throwback and have brought Denzel Washington along for the fun.
Two officers – Bobby from the DEA (Washington) and Stig from the Naval Intelligence (Wahlberg) – are both unaware that the other is undercover and unwittingly find themselves as targets after a botched bank robbery.
Kormákur directs this machismo throwback with a knowingly slickness perfectly befitting of the cool of his two leading men. Whilst embracing some of the clichés and tendencies of much-loved buddy movies (ie. Midnight Run), Kormákur and screenwriter Blake Masters do their bit to subvert these expectancies with Stig and Bobby’s friendship gradually building over the course of the film. Masters’ narrative occasionally verges on over-complicated with countless characters from various agencies and cartels, and a lack of clarity about who is setting who up etc.
Fortunately even if the narrative does not appear completely clear throughout, the rapport between Wahlberg and Washington is continuously watchable and downright fun. The pair have a natural chemistry and the fast-talking, hot-headed Navy officer and slick, calm DEA agent make a winning team. Stig’s wise-cracking and take-no-prisoners attitude, helps assert him as one of Wahlberg’s most entertaining on-screen characters in recent years. The casting of these two actors (both clearly at the top of their game) is the winning formula behind the likeability and success of 2 Guns.
Kormákur packs 2 Guns with an array of stylish set-pieces, which may not be ground-breaking in scale or structure but certainly get the job done. The highlight of these being the film’s grand conclusion which sees drug cartels, the CIA and Naval Intelligence collide in a high-octane, bullet blasting and flame filled shoot-out. Prior to this 2 Guns features desert car chases and amusing interrogation sequences, and not to mention Marky Mark blasting off chicken heads and winking at waitresses.
2 Guns also features a dastardly selection of villains in the form of Bill Paxton’s cold-blooded CIA honcho, James Marsden’s ruthless Navy officer, and a stellar turn from Edward James Olmos as a vengeful drug kingpin – all hunting down Stig and Bobby for their own gain. There’s also a welcome turn from Paula Patton as Bobby’s romantic interest.
2 Guns may not be ground-breaking action cinema, however, it is nonetheless a highly entertaining buddy movie throwback that allows the cool of Wahlberg and Washington to shine.
Release: 16th August 2013
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Wahsington, Edward James Olmos,Bill Paxton