Movie review: 2 Guns |

Movie review: 2 Guns

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Denzel Washington, left, and Mark Wahlberg in a scene from "2 Guns." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Patti Perret)
AP | Courtesy Universal Pictures



Directed by Baltasar Kormakur

Starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton

Rated R, Action/Comedy, 109 minutes

Two undercover agents meet cute in this action-bromance helmed by Icelandic art-house director Baltasar Kormakur. Mark Wahlberg represents the cocky, devil-may-care white guy, while Denzel Washington appears as the deepish thinker. The pair’s banter skips along to the beat of “The Sopranos” boom, ba-da-bing, but too often we anticipate the dialog.

Based on “BOOM! Studios” graphic novels by Steven Grant, “2 Guns” generates satisfactory physical comedy, sometimes pitting Washington’s DEA Agent Bobby Trench against Wahlberg’s Naval Intelligence Stig Stigman, at other times trapping the pair in deadly, yet amusing situations.

Unaware the other is an undercover agent, the pair schemes to steal $3 million from Mexican drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos), in a bank heist where each officer plans for his partner to take the fall. Having established Greco as a ruthless killer who totes enemy heads around in bowling bags, each agency plans to use Greco’s money for its war on drugs.

What neither agent nor his agency realize is that Greco’s bank also serves as a money drop for a powerful, unstoppable organization. None are more surprised than Bobby and Stig when the take from the small-town bank’s deposit boxes totals more than $42 million. Suddenly, deadly shapes appear in the night and bodies begin to pile up.

Bobby turns to his handler, old girlfriend Deb Rees (Paula Patton), for solace and help, while Stig learns there’s something rotten about his superior, crazed jarhead Quince (the aptly cast wild-eyed James Marsden).

Bill Paxton plays the owner of the $42 million. He takes sick pleasure from torturing his interrogation subjects — doing so in funnier ways than we’d imagine.

The film, tucked into a burlesque reality, slings mud at the covert organizations assigned to protect us. The plot puts its faith in Bobby and Stig, while the film relies on the chemistry between Washington and Wahlberg — and they deliver. The film’s white-washed sepia tones, and the amount of time our heroes spend in the desert, qualifies this actioner as a Western in camouflage. While nearly everything about the story is forgettable, its don’t-trust-no-one premise recalls a favorite Mark Twain quote, “The more I know about people, the better I like my dogs.”

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