, Port Arthur, Texas

August 2, 2013

Washington and Wahlberg shine in '2 Guns'

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

— There isn’t a whole lot of buzz surrounding the new crime caper movie, “2 Guns.” I find that to be a bit odd, as it stars such notable actors as Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Then again, the film doesn’t feature any killer robots, cool spaceships or other special effect creations, so it’s understandable why “2 Guns” might get lost in the summer movie crowd.

That would be an oversight, especially if you are a fan of the film’s two main leads. “2 Guns” turns out to be a pretty good action film with ample movie-star chemistry, a quick, crowd-friendly pace and plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience guessing. My only real critique is that the film’s tone is so inconsistent that it’s hard to stay engaged in the story.

That, and the lack of killer robots, of course.

“2 Guns” begins by introducing us to two criminals (Washington and Wahlberg) as they rob a bank. They expect a million dollar payday as this is where a drug kingpin (Edward James Olmos) stashes his money. They’re very surprised to find that their haul is closer to 43 million.

More surprises are in store when our two bickering bank robbers learn that they are actually both police officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency and Naval Intelligence. It turns out that they’re being set up by their respective agencies, so the two fake bad guys team up because the DEA, CIA, US Navy and the drug kingpin are all coming after the loot, and more than happy to dispose of our heroes in order to lay hands on the money.

“2 Guns” features a very complicated plot that will tax some audiences. Despite that, the film zips along at a breakneck pace with some thrilling gunfights and car chases, as well as some wonderful moments where Washington and Wahlberg just sit back and bicker with one another. These scenes are a lot of fun to watch and a perfect example of how a movie star can elevate a film simply by turning up their charisma level.

For fans of Denzel Washington or Mark Wahlberg, “2 Guns” is a must see movie.

That’s not quite as clear for fans of summer action films, as “2 Guns” doesn’t ever decide whether it’s a straight-forward action movie or a dark comedy. It tries to live in both worlds, but some of the violence is so up-close-and-personal that it makes it difficult to savor the film’s lighter moments.

“2 Guns” elects goes into overdrive for its finale; degenerating into a fairly standard action flick. I suppose that’s to be expected. The unexpected comes in the form of two winning performances by the films leading men and a rock-solid supporting cast that make “2 Guns” into nice, late-summer surprise.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at