“2 Guns,” a new action comedy from “Contraband” director Baltasar Kormakur, is what’s called a refrigerator movie. It seems to add up while you’re watching it, but later, when you’re at home in front of the fridge looking for a snack and thinking back on the movie, you realize it didn’t make any sense. Not a whit.
Twists, turns and double crosses are the name of the game here as Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and “Stig” Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) plan the robbery of a small town bank, thought to be a depository for Mexican drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). They plan on walking away with $3 million in cash, but when the dust settles they bag over $43 million.
Turns out nothing is as it seems. (MILD SPOILER!) Unbeknownst to one another Trench and Stigman are a DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer each working the same case.
Enter some twists, turns and someone more dangerous than Papi gunning to recover the money.
After the events described above the plot thickens to a gumbo like consistency, becoming a murky stew of story threads, double crosses and far-fetched contrivances.
Not that any of that matters much when you have Denzel and Mark spreading their movie star charisma all over the screen.
The movie was originally written for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson after the success of “Wedding Crashers,” and although it has passed through several hands since then, it still has echoes of the original cast. Either that or Wahlberg does a mean Vince Vaughn impression. He displays his proficiency with both comedy and action here in a hybrid performance that bridges the gab between “The Departed” and “Ted.”
Denzel once again indulges his love of playing dark and dangerous characters. No other a-lister seems to be as comfortable with moral ambiguity as Washington, and once again, he plays a nasty man who is also one of the heroes of the piece.
He pulls it off with his usual aplomb, but the movie is a bit too in love with its own swagger. Like so many action movie of late, the heroes are little more than highly trained, cold-blooded killers, willing to blow away anyone in their path. (MILD SPOILER) In a wild blow-‘em-up scene near the end, Washington sets an explosion that not only destroys government property but also massacres dozens of people. And he’s the hero.
The morality of the wanton disregard for the collateral damage of their exploits is up for debate. It’s only a movie, I get it, and they have charisma to burn, good chemistry and bring a nice twist to a typical buddy movie, but a few less bullets and bodies wouldn’t have hurt this story one bit.
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