2GUNS is an action comedy which headlines and stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, has a runtime of 109 minutes and an overall budget of $61 million dollars. The film is directed by Baltasar Kormakur whose previous works include The Deep (2012) and Contraband (2012). Kormakur is primarily a foreign film (Icelandic) director and 2GUNS represents his continued work into mainstream Hollywood.
Based on a graphic novel (by Steven Grant) of the same name, 2GUNS revolves around the characters Robert “Bobby” Trench (played by Washington) and Michael “Stig” Stigman (played by Wahlberg). Both are undercover agents for their respective agencies, Bobby for the DEA and Stig for the United States Navy. Having been long undercover the pair has been teamed up as criminals for some time, unaware to each other, however, that either of them is in fact working undercover. Having been using one another as a way to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel headed up by Papi Greco (played by Edward James Olmos) as a way to eventually gain enough evidence to take him down.
After a failed attempt to procure cocaine as a buyer from Papi, the pair walk away empty handed and must find an alternative approach to place Papi, his drugs and/or his money together. Still working under the guise as criminals to one another, Bobby and Stig devise a plan to rob a bank that they have been casing for some time, in regards to monitoring how Papi has been hiding/laundering his money. The goal as criminals is to simply steal the money. The goal as undercover agents is to use the money to connect Papi to his drugs and his clientele. For both Bobby and Stig they’ll also use the robbery attempt as a way to incriminate one another as well, as a result of their ‘criminal time’ together. (I really hope this is still making a little bit of sense! Anyway,) After the robbery is a success, it soon becomes aware to one another that things aren’t exactly what they seem. With an entire drug cartel now after them and betrayal from within their own agencies, both Bobby and Stig must now actually team up and slowly learn that maybe they were indeed meant to be partners all along.
2GUNS is a messy and very simple outing at the theatre. The pacing for the film is relatively slow and before the setup for the film I’ve described above happens, you’re well into halfway through the film. It’s a slow burn which is a result of having to build up to set up the film’s characters, with their inherent motives whilst building enough of a respectable back-story that the audience can accept. The film because of this is formulaic but still enjoyable due to both Washington and Wahlberg’s on-screen chemistry and actual enjoyment in the film. It’s odd as you can clearly see both actors have been here before, they aren’t mailed in performances in the slightest they’re simply two actors free flowing on set. You can tell that both of them are having fun with the ridiculousness of the film. It’s no joke in the literal sense, as figuratively the mess of the film is used in a way to make it lighthearted enough when it needs to be. It’s a relief when the moments come and it has you wishing for more screen time with the Washington/Wahlberg duo. But 2GUNS is in fact two sides of a story which tries to work its way together, and its attempt at piecing the film overall makes it stumble in this regard.
The film is definitely average, but fun and from a studio perspective the low budget makes it a soft gamble given the star power with its casting. To which, I was definitely surprised by supporting cast which is rounded out with Paula Patton (2GUNS is her Halle Berry Swordfish  moment), Bill Paxton (who near channels his zany “game over man, game over” crazy look in his eyes Aliens  moment), Fred Ward (who still doesn’t remember this guy from Tremors ! both him and Kevin Bacon [R.I.P.D, 2013] in summer movies this year?! crazy!), James Marsden (who doesn’t actually play a romantic comedy role this time? thank you), and Robert John Burke (who always plays a convincing, yes that’s my superior officer, last seen in Jason Statham’s Safe ).
All in all, 2GUNS is decent on the action, slow on the pace, and delivers enough comedic relief (Wahlberg especially goes off the cuff and its fun to see). Summer 2013 for films so far has been shaping up to house a lot of average films (I should know, I’ve seen quite a few of them thus far). So if you feel so inclined on a cheap ticket day, 2GUNS won’t disappoint. But it’s also safe to check this one out when it comes to home video later on as well.
I give 2GUNS a 6 out of 10