2 Guns 2013
I’m continuing on my quest to watch the rest of 2013’s superhero and comic book movie releases before year’s end which brought me to this pseudo-buddy cop movie that may surprise you to find out that it was actually based on a comic book series from Boom studios. There’s nothing really special or extraordinary about this movie when comparing it to other, what I like to refer to as caper movies. The high point is definitely the friendly bickering chemistry between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, but it’s a bit weighed down by the overly complex plot filled with double and triple crosses and you’re never really sure where anyone’s true allegiance lies. Violent fun at best, confusing at worst it was better than what I expected it to be, but I’m not surprised by those who didn’t click with this film.
I don’t often do this, but to try and convey the convoluted and complicated relationships between the characters I will do my best to try and explain them here, there will be spoilers but I honestly think they might benefit a first time viewing rather than spoil it, if you can even make sense of it all. Denzel Washington plays Bobby Beans among other similar names who is a DEA agent going undercover to break up a Mexican drug ring led by Papi played by Edward James Olmos. He’s sleeping with fellow agent Deb in an on-again-off-again almost relationship. While undercover, he’s working with Stigman, played by Mark Wahlberg, who is actually Naval intelligence who was framed for something and considered AWOL. Stigman is working with some of his Navy buddies led by Quince, played by James Marsden, who is also sleeping with Deb and is using Stigman to steal a couple million dollars from Papi stashed in a safety deposit box which is actually over 40 million dollars in bribes that Papi has been paying to the CIA led by Earl, played by Bill Paxton which Quince and Deb know about but no one else does.
If it sounds hard to follow, that’s because it is, and the movie doesn’t do a very good job at revealing the details in the best way possible and ends up leaving the audience in the dark almost as much as the characters are. And even when it gets to the ending, it’s a scene heavily featured in the trailer and even the poster of the movie so in a plot so full of “surprises” the ending has been telegraphed miles ahead of time. What does work are all of these situations that seem impossible to get out of, and yet our 2 guns manage to find a way out, either through luck or through their wits. While the motivations and inter-relationships between the characters are absurdly complicated, the actual action setpieces are quite fun and engaging, especially one that starts out as a showdown between the two with Bobby in Stigman’s apartment while Stigman is on a rooftop with a sniper rifle pointed directly at Bobby. And yet, a bunch of guys come into the apartment and Stigman ends up guiding Bobby out.
The best part of this film by far is the interaction between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Stigman is always tossing out the insults with a wink and a smile on his face, but he also has the skills to back up his talk. Bobby is the more straight-laced of the two, but also has just as much competance without all the bluster. And behind it all is an obvious friendship and comeraderie even if they don’t always want to admit it. It’s very much a roughousing brotherly relationship and it works especially when they’re trying to one-up one another because it’s almost always immediately followed by some sort of trouble that they end up working together to get out of, just like the sniper rifle scene. The other characters are more of a mixed bag. Deb isn’t all that interesting until her last scene, Papi is probably the best villain and gets some of the best moments like the scene with the Bull. Quince doesn’t really have any personality at all which isn’t too surprising as the same is often said of Cyclops. And finally Earl feels like he should have been in O Brother Where Art Thou with that slimy southern accent that never really conveys the right sense of dread that his actions often do. Ultimately, I thought the film was worth watching for Denzel and Wahlberg alone, the plot tries to get in the way at times, but the two of them always manage to make the best of what otherwise would be an overly convoluted movie that tries to keep you guessing but doesn’t give you enough to work with in the meantime. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.