Movies based on comic book properties are now as common as the use of special effects and 3D. Not every comic book movie has superheroes in tights and capes though. 2 Guns may be based on a comic book but it’s an homage to buddy cop movies.
Based on Steven Grant’s book, 2 Guns is the story of DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and Navy Intelligence Officer Michael “Stig” Stigman (Mark Wahlberg). Neither man knows the others’ true identity until they try to arrest each other.
As the story unfolds, both men realize they can’t trust their organizations and reluctantly band together. Through a series of car chases, gunfights and explosions, they run from former partners and drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos).
Washington and Wahlberg have great chemistry as a duo and keep things light-hearted. Denzel, after his dramatic Oscar-nominated performance in last year’s Flight, seems to have fun in this role. Mark Wahlberg channels his earlier work in The Big Hit, kicking ass and cracking jokes.
Bill Paxton’s plays Earl, a dark, violent man tracking the two for undisclosed reasons. Earl interrogates with threats of Russian Roulette and takes himself very seriously. Paxton is interesting as a bad guy but almost too silly to believe.
Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) plays Deb, Bobby’s sometimes girlfriend and DEA partner. She’s really eye candy, instead of the badass agent she was in Ghost Protocol. James Marsden (X-Men) also plays Navy officer Quince, a superior to Stig with his own motivations.
Almost every character in 2 Guns has a hidden agenda, leading to some twists, turns and double crossing in the plot. A lot of it is quite predictable but the movie never pretends to be anything more than a bullet-filled comedy.
We never find out how these two guys came together and it’s quickly glossed over in the film. I think a little back story would have been interesting but it’s a minor detail that’s forgotten once things get rolling.
The action in 2 Guns is standard but fun. A car chase leads to a comical fist fight between Stig and Bobby. Gunfights are shot well except for the finale. There are so many weapons that the end results are far too ridiculous to not laugh at.
2 Guns never really does anything new. It’s a movie that’s been done several times. Fans of the Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys flicks will enjoy this but there’s nothing that will make you want to revisit it.