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:: 2 Guns

Sometimes a film comes along that completely surprises the audience. At a quick glance, “2 Guns” looks like it is going to just be another stock standard action film like the ones that Hollywood have been churning out almost weekly for the past few years. That assumption though turns out to be completely wrong, however, and after a viewing of “2 Guns,” you quickly realize that this is a well written crime thriller that seems to have Quentin Tarantano written all over it despite the fact that he had nothing to do with the film.

The film centres around Robert ‘Bobby’ Trench (Denzel Washington) and Michael ‘Stig’ Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) who meet each other when they team up to rip off known Mexican gangster, Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) by robbing a bank where he keeps his cash safe. The plan seems like it is going to work but, shortly after the heist, the two men learn each other’s secrets. Robert is actually a DEA Agent working under Deb (Paula Patton) while Stig is in fact working for a Naval Intelligence unit. Confused at what has just happened, Stig shoots Robert and leaves him the dessert.

The two men are then forced to put differences aside and work together when Stig learns that his boss, Quince (James Marsden) is actually corrupt and is now out to kill him, while Earl (Bill Paxton) turns up, claims the money is actually his and if it is isn’t returned will kill them both.

With “2 Guns” director Baltasar Kormakur has actually gone back a few years and created a great ‘buddy-cop’ film. These films were all the rage in the 1990s with films such as “Bad Boys” and “Lethal Weapon” becoming box-office successes, but nobody has made a great one for a number of years… well not until now anyway.

Not only does Kormakur make this film look more like a genre flick than a popcorn movie but he has also been well served by screenwriter Blake Masters, who previously had only been known for his television credits, who has done a great job turning Steven Grant’s graphic novel into an intelligently written piece of cinema.

Not only has Masters obviously been inspired by the work of Quentin Tarnatino, especially with the dialogue between the characters, but he also takes the audience on an entertaining journey full of twists and turns. To his credit, Masters manages to pull off a feat that has made many screenwriters fail in the past – he mixes action and comedy together extremely well – but he also manages to create just the right level of suspense at times throughout the film without having to resort to your standard Hollywood cliché. Let’s hope we see Masters penning a few more big blockbusters over the next few years.

Masters’ script also allows the leading men to really step up. As you would expect, Denzel Washington absolutely shines (when was the last time this man made a bad movie?) and he seems to be genuinely enjoying being able to deliver some comedic dialogue throughout the film. The big surprise here though is Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg has always been one of those actors who is always fun to watch but boy can he pull out some terribly cardboard one-dimensional performances from time to time. Here, however, the man who once called himself Marky Mark really hits the mark (pun intended) and pulls off one of his best performances to date. He also seems to lap up the comedy elements of the film but also delivers the drama when it is called of him and once again just breezes through the action sequences.

Fans of the old style buddy-cop films are going to absolutely lap up “2 Guns.” This smartly written film does enough to keep its audience entertained and certainly goes beyond expectations.