It is time for Action Movie Friday, where I treat an action movie like an action movie and not like a drama and stuff. All movie reviews are subjective and while I may like something, you might think it’s shit, and vice versa!
Title: 2 Guns
MPAA Rating: R
Genre: action, comedy, buddy cop
Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, Robert John Burke, James Marsden, Bill Paxton
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writer: Blake Masters, Steven Grant (graphic novel)
Budget: $61 Million
Box Office: $132 Million
okay what is this, the give away everything trailer? My GOD. Yeah, if you don’t want to be spoiled. Don’t watch this trailer. So sorry.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%
Bobby Beans and Michael Stigman have been partners for ten months, trying to get close to the drug lord Manny “Papi” Greco. They both want to take him down and both plan to pin it on the other. When Papi kills their inside man, Stigman decides it’s time to take Papi down a notch and rob the Tres Cruses bank of the money that Papi stores there. It should be an easy three million. Bobby B isn’t so sure, but with Stigman being the perfect fall guy decides to go along. They rob the bank and find their in much deeper than they suspect when there is 43.125 million instead of 3. Out of their depth, their both set up to take the fall. Disavowed by their superiors and chased by the true owners of the money, Bobby B and Stigman have to learn to trust each other and become partners for real. Or both will lose their lives.
2 Guns is yet another movie based on a comic book, well a comic miniseries from a little known comic book distributer Boom!Studios. Comedy, action, betrayal by those closest to us, what can go wrong? Last week I reviewed R.I.P.D. 2 Guns and R.I.P.D. were both distributed by Universal, both comic book movies, and released within two weeks of each other. R.I.P.D. tanked at the box office and 2 Guns made twice the amount of its budget, pulling in 132 million worldwide on a 61 million budget. RIPD had over twice the budget of 2 Guns and barely made over half of it back. I like R.I.P.D. And I like 2 Guns. It’s pretty clear though of the two 2 Guns is a better movie and reaffirms my premise that you don’t have to have a lot of money to make a good movie. And in fact, if you use 60 million to make your movie, you’re more likely to make it back at the box office and be considered a success, rather than a flop. The other thing that stands out in these two movies is that Mark Wahlberg was cast in a Ryan Reynolds movie and Ryan Reynolds was cast in a Mark Wahlberg movie and really it made no sense. But hey, I wasn’t in charge of casting.
2 Guns is considered an “old school” buddy cop movie by other reviewers. And that is why it works. Though if someone could kindly describe to me the difference between old school and new school buddy cop movies, I’d be obliged. Since very buddy cop movie that I’ve seen somewhere had “old school” thrown at it like it’s some type of derogatory term. Look, this is how buddy cop/bro movies work. You’ve got two guys of two different temperaments, you throw them together into a stressful situation, sit back and eat popcorn. That’s what makes them fun. 2 Guns follows this formula. You’ve got the cold blooded, smoothly rational Bobby and the fast talking hot tempered Stigman. Bobby likes plans. Stigman likes to make things up as he goes along. They’re trying to take down a drug cartel and pin the dirty deed on the other. This is what makes for good drama and explosions.
And the plot of 2 Guns is good. Is it original? I don’t know. I haven’t watched/read every buddy cop movie/comic/book in existence. The plot strings you along giving you just enough details to start piecing together what is really happening throughout the movie. Bobby and Stigman have different ideals and viewpoints coming from their different backgrounds, who they’re working for and why they’re doing it. The dialogue is quick and snappy and the characters funny. Oh, and points for the movie never bringing any sort of focus on the fact Bobby’s character is black or Deb’s character is Hispanic. Their race didn’t matter and it was really, no, extremely refreshing. They were people who happened to be black and Hispanic. So, a full cookie.
There were two, count them, two, unnecessary explosions and one didn’t even involve fire. But the one that did was so unnecessary. Bobby had a way out. He didn’t have to blow up over half the building. One cookie.
There was a lot of gun play in this movie. And gun play can be entertaining to watch. Like R.I.P.D., they had a scene near the end where the two protagonists had to shoot back to back to fight off their enemies. At least this time it wasn’t done in slow motion and with tracer bullets. Bobby and Stigman have to of course, get into an all out brawl before they can be friends. Because apparently this is what boys do? (I’m not sure if this is media reflecting real life or media influencing real life because boys.) It’s funny and yes, entertaining, a full cookie.
Deb, oh, let’s talk about Deb as much as we can talk about Deb without spoiling things. I love Deb. She is really the only woman of import in this movie and she owns that role. Deb is an independent woman who is in control of her own sexuality. She is also a major and key player in the plot. And they were so close, and I mean so close, to having a really good female character. And then, Deb suffered the fate that all female characters seem to suffer in action movies if they are any way romantically attached to one of the main male characters in order to cause that male character pain. Because a man’s pain is so important. /sarcasm. It is so frustrating beyond belief to have this great female character. Someone you can write great stories with and then. Yeah. So, I’m taking a bite of the cookie.
I liked the world building for 2 Guns. They didn’t have to do much for it. It’s based in our reality. There wasn’t any major physics defying feats. There really wasn’t anything that pulled me out of the movie. I would not however watch this movie with anyone who is in the military because it would not be that easy to get in and off of a base. I mean, it was fun to watch, but if you try to do that in a military base in real life you’re going to get blown to smithereens. They do NOT look kindly on that type of maneuver. However, we wouldn’t have half the movie otherwise and the huge explosion, so I’m willing to overlook it. One cookie.
2 Guns is a thoroughly entertaining movie with a decent plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Four and three quarter gingersnaps.