(3 / 5)
Denzel Washington and Mark Walhberg banter with friendly acrimony, speed around in a variety of cars, and generally blow shit up. If you like the sound of that, you’ll probably get on with 2 Guns.
Washington is winningly cool as Bobby Trench, Wahlberg likeably guileless as Michael Stigman – two law enforcement officers who end up undercover and unaware of the other’s background – the type of character types both actors have built careers around playing.
There are double crosses and betrayals, a few neat twists along the way, and Bill Paxton, James Marsden, and Edward James Olmos appear as a disparate trio of villains. Paxton’s sadistic corrupt CIA agent and Olmos’ grandstanding Mexican drug lord are entirely generic, but they both elevate their respective roles. Marsden comes across unavoidably as slimy as a backstabbing naval officer.
It’s classic buddy cop-action comedy fare, which builds nicely to the obligatory end standoff/shootout. Paula Patton appears as Washington’s colleague and would-be love interest, but the real chemistry is between him and Wahlberg. If they’re not quite Riggs and Murtagh, in coolness stakes they come close enough for this film’s needs.
That is, ultimately, what 2 Guns is all about: cool guys doing cool things; the moments of heart and playfulness between the bullets are what sells it, though. It’s well acted, tightly scripted, and nicely directed (Blake Masters and Baltasar Kormakur pulling their weight) and holds the attention well enough that its lack of originality never grates.
2 Guns is a fun, throwaway summer fling, but, given the caliber, who could ask for more?