Posts Tagged ‘2 Guns’

2 Guns originally meant to star Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson By Richard Crouse Metro Canada – In Focus July 31, 2013

a3This weekend Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg co-star as a DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who are investigating one another in 2 Guns. Each think the other is on the take from the mob, but eventually must work together to get to the truth.
This action-comedy was directed by Contraband helmer Baltasar Kormakur the movie promises more action than comedy, putting it at odds with the original plan for the film.

Conceived as a vehicle for Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn after the success of Wedding Crashers, the movie was originally meant to take advantage of the comedic chemistry between the two, but slowly morphed into something else as it made its way to Wahlberg and Washington.

It joins a long list of movies to change tone as they swap casts.

We think of Beverly Hills Cop as the hilarious Eddie Murphy movie about a streetwise Detroit cop displaced to hoity-toity Los Angeles. Initially however, the movie was meant to star Sylvester Stallone, who, aside from Oscar or Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, is better known for breaking jaws than busting guts. Comedy not being his thing, Stallone tried to rewrite the script to emphasize the action, which raised the budget and he was replaced.

Stallone also turned down the part of Jack Colton in the romantic action-adventure Romancing the Stone and was replaced by Michael Douglas

Unlike Stallone, Bill Murray can flit back-and-forth between drama and comedy with ease, still it would have seemed odd to see him as Dr. Wren in Alien: Resurrection. The part was written for him, but when he passed it went to J.E. Freeman.

Stranger still was the casting for the crime comedy Legal Eagles. In the version we know Debra Winger plays defense lawyer Laura Kelly who becomes romantically involved with District Attorney Tom Logan, played by Robert Redford. Originally Winger’s character was written for Murray, who dropped out and forced massive rewrites.

Taxi Driver made Cybill Shepherd a star, but the part almost went to Farah Fawcett Majors because, producer Julia Phillips claims, director Martin Scorsese preferred Majors’ “shapely bottom.”

Finally, Daniel Day Lewis is an acting legend with five Oscar nominations and three wins to his credit, but imagine if he hadn’t turned down the roles of Zod in the recent Superman epic Man of Steel or Shakespeare in Love’s love interest, a part that went to Joseph Fiennes.

2 GUNS: 3 STARS

2gunstrailer“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.