Review: 2 Guns


Director:Baltasar Kormákur

Cast:Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, Bill Paxton

Running Time:109.00


In a summer full of bloated, overcooked blockbusters, 2 Guns is a refreshingly simple buddy cop movie. Making no effort to ever take itself seriously, it's every bit as ridiculous as it needs to be. 

Mark Wahlberg plays an undercover NCIS officer working with Denzel Washington, an undercover DEA agent. Each man assumes his partner is a criminal, and neither knows his superiors are hiding information. But this pairing is so natural and easygoing, it's a surprise no one's put these actors together before.

At the beginning of the movie, they rob the Tres Cruces Bank, which they assume holds around $3 million from a drug lord (Edward James Olmos, who never really comes across as cutthroat). It actually contains about $40 million more, so much that they have to get a cart to wheel it all out. All that money attracts a lot of attention, and eventually they've got cartel henchmen, Navy SEALS, and even the CIA on their trail.

There are plenty of double-crosses and triple-crosses "” maybe the name of that bank was a tip-off "” so no one's exactly sure who to trust. But the tone never stays dark for any real length of time. People get killed or tortured, of course, yet before you know it, Mark Wahlberg is back smacking his gum, cracking jokes, and winking at every lady he sees.

Despite not owning an ounce of originality, 2 Guns more than makes up for it through the chemistry of Washington and Wahlberg, as well as the presence of Bill Paxton. Aside from a bit part in Haywire, he really hasn't been on the big screen in quite some time, and he's terrific for what the role calls for. Basically, imagine his slimeball character Simon from True Lies quit the car dealership and started working for the CIA. He's even got the same creepy mustache.

To say much more would give away 2 Guns' myriad plot twists, so I'll just leave it at this: If you're tired of seeing these overly long, overly serious blockbusters, head over to 2 Guns and enjoy escapism at its best. 


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

Leave a Reply