Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg carry this film with mixing government agencies and drug cartels shooting it up over $42.125 million in stolen funds. It’s a fun hold over until the sequel, 3 Guns, can up the ante.
Explosions, bare breasts, stampeding cattle, and far more than two guns light up this comedy actioner with a bit of an unrelenting dark side. Robert Trench (Washington) and Michael Stigman (Wahlberg) back each other in a bank robbery only to discover their identities criss-cross authority regimes. DEA, naval intelligence, FBI, and CIA all bank on the stolen cash which was supposed to dent up the operations of a Mexican drug cartel.
This blending of agencies jumbles and contorts 2 Guns rambling narrative, indirect and jumpy from its outset. Storytelling only slows for the sake of impressively scaled action, bursts of gunfights after plans routinely fall apart. Trench and Stigman maintain their on again, off again crime fighting relationship under limited – even corrupt – guidance for the sake of buddy movie familiarity.
2 Guns has snippets of comedy bred by its cast, a marketable duo who sling antics under a constant state of notable distrust. Washington and Wahlberg work as a character pairing, different enough to hold distinct personalities but with the same chilled demeanor to act in contrast of elevated action. This is true cinema, wherein ludicrous events concern implausible happenings for the sake of raw entertainment. Thousands of gunshots are fired and roughly six out of every thousand hit a target. They exist more for the flash and their loudness as opposed to any realm of realism. It works given 2 Guns goal of splashing screens with superstars as opposed to kinetic, R-rated violence.
At some level, 2 Guns is a lavish adventure of burly egos brushing into one another. Cinematography rears bright and writing steers lively. Then bodies start piling, and not minimalist side characters. Fragments of genuine emotion are implied, led astray into additional gun frays as if these deaths were menial. Impact is lost, even uncomfortably, as if pieces in the undercurrent of the narrative existed as nothing more than plot development fodder.
Universal’s adaptation of the graphic novel proves enjoyable as a ride along, something easy for the audience to latch onto with its bulked up charms. 2 Guns is bouncy and clean with enough mystery to turn it marginally suspenseful despite no potential for either of its lead characters to be found dead. This film has plenty to give, except during ill-timed dramatic flourishes.
Universal’s AVC encode has work ahead of itself, handling a brisk grain structure without the appearance of visible compression. Images contain a natural, striking filmic quality. In terms of 2013 new releases, 2 Guns may hold a distinction of being peaked in terms of film reproduction on the format. This is near indistinguishable from projected stock.
That all translates to accuracy and source cinematography quirks. Images often dilute sharpness for awkward focal shifts which causes a total loss of appreciable definition. It becomes jarring to embrace 2 Gun’s drizzled, precision detail only to find it lost between edits. Instances are common and typical enough to be of concern for visually acute viewers.
Also requiring touch up are wobbly black levels, swapped from substantial density to awkward grays sans the same contrasting punch. These fidgety lapses are, of course, involved during nighttime shots inside cars or apartments. Opposing perfection trounces those dim, flattened shots. And contrast? It zips by with even blinding results to add scorching qualities to cross border sun.
Final touches come courtesy of color grading, singed with yellows. While battling back some instances of routine teal, 2 Guns is sure of its coloring decisions. Flesh tones veer warmer, suitable for the intended desert-esque look. Saturation is appealing.
The opening shot of this action-centric escapade is of a train rolling overhead, surrounds and LFE in tow. Design adores engines, from muscle cars to helicopters rumbling deeply in the sub. Aggression is hardly subtle. Bass application is broad from flash grenades to spontaneous explosions or heavy machine guns.
Given its title, 2 Guns pays heed to firearms with a satisfying pop from each round. It’s a sterling high-end burst with enough accentuation to sell fired shots. Surrounds bulk up to travel rounds across the soundstage without ignorance of the stereo channel’s availability. Chase sequences are equally invested with smashing cars and flawless tracking between channels. 2 Guns is never shy with its audio blasts.
Do not expect much when diving into the bonus menu, which begins with eight deleted scenes running near 12-minutes. Click, Click, Bang, Bang is the main feature, split into four parts for half an hour of content. Topics weave between the expected dissection of the source material, casting, and character definition. Cue some peeks at visual effects, and you have a bonus feature. Director Baltasar Kormakur and producer Adam Siegel team for a commentary track for the final piece to the disc.