‘2 Guns’ Review Round Up: Action Flick Gets Mixed Reactions From Critics
2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, follows two corrupt law enforcement agents working undercover to bring down a massive narcotics operation. The catch? Neither Naval officer Marcus Stigman (Wahlberg), nor DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington), knows the other actually works for a federal agency. When their respective plans go awry, their separate agencies disown them despite the fact that their identities get comprised, leaving them in the Mexican dessert to fend for themselves. The film has received decidedly mixed reviews from critcs. Here's a sampling:
“Big bangs and fast talk are the name of the genre game in 2 Guns, a slick, slippery thriller that taps into the anarchic playfulness that made the best American action flicks of the 1980s and ’90s pop. […] A reissue of the five-part comic series on which it’s based sets the scene nicely: “Two guys walk into a bank. It goes badly.” It does in the movies as well, although now the duo spring off the page courtesy of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, one of the better odd couples to bond and bicker since Mel met Danny.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“The only thing simple and direct about 2 Guns is its title. This self-consciously nihilistic action movie is one slick piece of business as well as something of a double-edged sword. […] The plot of 2 Guns — filled as it is with multiple feints, dodges and mystifications — is so tricky that events all but evaporate as soon as they happen. Though individual set pieces are well done, the film inevitably leaves an empty taste behind it once it's done.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“This is Washington and Wahlberg’s show. Washington can still be fierce, but is most fun when he’s half-hepcat and half sleeping-tiger, as he is here. Wahlberg can be great in the right projects, and this is one of them. His furrowed brow camouflages everyguy strength; Stig acts oafish until it’s time to sharpen up and use his expert sharpshooter skills. As a team, Washington and Wahlberg keep the riffs going as this action-comedy shimmers and builds to a terrifically entertaining heat haze. Then the bullets fly, almost as fast as their mouths, and everything hits its target.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
“Even with the proven charms of its leading men, the degree to which you buy 2 Guns depends on whether, one year after the shooting in Aurora, Colo., and seven months after Newtown, you don’t mind seeing guns used as props, fetishes, phallic symbols and, most tastelessly, jokes: In the movie’s stylized, hyper-violent world, flesh wounds are tantamount to the offhanded one-liners the stars toss back and forth like so many verbal Frisbees.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
2 Guns, rated R for violence and language, is currently in wide release. Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden and Edward James Olmos also star.
– Chelsea Regan
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