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Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 12:30:00 AM
Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 9:05:37 AM
By AIDIL RUSLI
2 Guns is the kind of convoluted and trash-talking fun movie that we rarely get to see.
They say that familiarity breeds contempt. So when a film riffs on not one, but two familiar genres – 1980s buddy-cop movie a la Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours and wise-cracking indie crime capers of the 1990s like The Boondock Saints – there’s a high possibility of boredom and nausea kicking in while watching it.
One look at the film’s trailer would’ve evoked not-so-fond memories of Quentin Tarantino wannabes and their knock-off films like 3,000 Miles To Graceland (2001), Truth Or Consequences, N.M. (1997), and Blood, Guts, Bullets And Octane (1998).
But 2 Guns surprisingly turned out to be quite an entertaining piece of escapist fun, probably because of the casting and effortless chemistry between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.
It could also be Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur’s European sensibilities which he brought to the movie.
Based on Steven Grant’s graphic novel series of the same name, 2 Guns follows the (mis)adventures of thieves Robert “Bobby Beans” Trench (Washington) and Michael “Stig” Stigman (Wahlberg). The film begins with them planning a bank heist while trash talking over breakfast at a diner.
The catch is that both are actually undercover agents for different agencies, but neither one knows about it.
The target of the heist is a bank called Tres Cruzes in Texas, which Bobby and Stig believe is where drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos providing an unexpected comedic note) keeps his millions.
Having failed to catch Papi on previous accounts, Bobby figures that stealing the criminal’s money could potentially lead to him being charged with other crimes.
Bobby’s plan also includes getting his on-again, off-again girlfriend Deb (Paula Patton), who works for the DEA, to make the arrest.
However, the heist turns out to be way too easy and that the amount of money they are stealling is way more than expected – US$43.125mil. I’ve got those numbers etched in my memory because they are mentioned time and again in the film – as did the phrase “the best donuts in three counties” – and each character seems to say it in the coolest and funniest possible accents.
If that sounds like a lot to handle, well then you ain’t seen nothing yet because after all this, the plot really thickens as we’re privy to a host of multiple double crosses, triple crosses and a whole lot of convoluted nonsense.
They don’t necessarily improve the story in any way, but it’s quite cool to have them in a film like this. Of course, there’s also a Mexican standoff.
Anyway, plot complications are only as fun as the characters involved in them.
Thankfully, we’re not only treated to the effortless comic banter between Bobby and Stig (with Wahlberg especially memorable playing one of his pretty boy doofuses), but we’re also gifted with two irresistible villains in the form of Papi and the menacingly comic Earl (Bill Paxton having a ball channeling Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men, with a Southern drawl to boot).
In fact, I’d say that these two villains were given almost the same amount of good dialogue as the heroes.
They shoot at, torture and expertly trash talk to each other with absolute glee and it’s in these cheeky exchanges that the strength of the movie lies.
It may pretend to be a complex shoot-‘em-up film, but at its heart 2 Guns wants nothing more than to entertain you with its colourful and comical dialogue, sort of like having a good time simply hanging out with your best buddies.
After a summer movie season full of brooding box-office pretenders, it’s kind of refreshing to walk into something as light and fun as this.
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Paxton, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden
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Lifestyle, 2 Guns, Baltasar Kormakur, Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Paxton, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden
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