action movie freak    

2 Guns movie poster




"Come on man, ebony and ivory."

(2 August 2013)  Director:  Baltasar Kormákur

We are introduced to the two main characters riding in a 1970 Dodge Challenger  Coupe.  American muscle. Mark Wahlberg has some serious strut.  Right off the bat he's funny with the observance of a fat cop:  "That is a lot of donuts." and we know we're in for a fun ride.

Mark Wahlberg tears up the screen in 2 Guns. He was incredibly good in Pain & Gain and he does it again in this movie. No small feat next to great performances by Denzel Washington and Bill Paxton. Wise cracking his way through every situation—you've gotta love his confidence—Wahlberg steals nearly every scene.  Even though they are Super Cops, this is a Buddy movie because what makes it most enjoyable is their interaction, their camaraderie and fight for dominance. "Come on man, ebony and ivory." Each thinking the other is a criminal and both turning out to be good guys. One is a DEA Agent Robert "Bobby Beans" Trench (Denzel), and the other a Naval Intelligence Petty Officer Michael "Stig" Stigman (Mark).

Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington in 2 Guns

With smart-ass lines like 

"Do you want to help yourself?"  "Do I have to do it in front of him?" and

"Hey, tell your mother she's gotta move out of my house at some point, man."

the movie keeps you laughing all the way through. These two characters are cocky and then some. Denzel is as cool as a cucumber as Mark Wahlberg 2 Guns winkthey say; slick even. His talent is more understated in that he creates a totally believable other persona, in other words Denzel is there but he's not. You buy him as Bobby Beans even with the hard-to-ignore trademark voice.
Mark Wahlberg turns on the charm and creates a kind of caricature of the character you imagine he is in real life based on being Marky Mark and a Calvin Klein underwear model (that will follow him forever). It works. He's adorable and he knows it (wink). I'm buying!  I think the audience does too as we watch them get into a series of sticky situations and then somehow make their way out.

An Action Movie Essential is that the Hero(es) be on the 'Right' side. There are lessons to be learned/taught. In this movie, Stig redeems Bobby Beans by reminding him "You fight for the guy that's fighting next to you." Since the government is corrupt in this movie, you root for them to win by any means necessary. The face of corruption  in this movie is not the drug dealers, it's the CIA. Enter Bill Paxton as the bad guy (and what an Action Movie BIG DOG Entrance he makes with a helicopter) "You're still a drug dealer and I'm still the government of the United States." Add to the government corruption the fact that the Navy turns their back on someone they were using to do the dirty work and you're pretty much free to do whatever you want. The idea that the government takes a cut of the drug dealers' profits isn't a hard sell.

The movie reminded me a little of Shawshank Redemption. We root for them to get away with all the money, or at least part of it, we are talking about $43.125 million dollars!  They have fun with the visuals on all that money. From the bank vault to the back of the car, to a box spring, to blowing it to the wind, I can't remember when I've seen so much cash. Paxton gives one of the best performances of his career. He's a bad, bad man, and he's not taking any shit.


2-guns-graphic-novelCash, Cars, Guns, Chases, Shoot Outs, Fights, Explosions, Trash Talking, Big Dog Entrance, Camaraderie and Dominance, Back-to-Back Shootout, fart humor, this Action Movie has it all. I'd prefer it didn't have the woman be such a Delilah and 2-dimensional, but it works. She's a cop but she's no good, so she dies. The lesson is don't be a greedy, shallow, corrupt, and cheating slut. LOL

The Direction is really fun. Baltasar Kormákur clearly is an Action Movie Freak. He gets what we want. There is slow-mo when we want to savor the moment and great camera angles that add to the humor or tension of the situation. He makes it a ride along. You feel like you're there with them, IN the Action. I see on IMDB he was a Producer on Mark Wahlberg's Contraband. I hope they work together again!

The screenplay by Blake Masters was great too. Fast-moving with lots of twists and turns but easy to follow. IMDB lists that it's based on the BOOM! STUDIOS graphic novel by comics legend Steven Grant (Marvel's PUNISHER: CIRCLE OF BLOOD, AVENGERS, INCREDIBLE HULK), who is listed as a "Writer". Not sure the way they posted it whether he worked on the script or not.



Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington


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