Plot: What’s it about?
2 Guns is the kind of buddy/action film that we just don’t see a lot of any more. It stars Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington are two criminals who get involved in a string of double crosses and mix ups a amidst a string of gunfire. The catch here is that neither of these men are actually criminals and neither of them know the others true identity. Right from the opening moments we can see the two of them have great chemistry. Wahlberg plays Michael “Stig” Stigman. He is a sleazy, fast talking guy who flirts with waitresses and tough talks bad guys without an ounce of intimidation. Washington plays Robert “Bobby” Trench. He is the more straight-laced of the two, but is equally effective with a weapon. The two of them have great chemistry and with lesser actors in the role the film would not be as effective. Even when they eventually discover each others identity they still work well together. The film begins with the two of them robbing a bank. They think that the amount is $3million, much to their surprise, it turns out to be a larger sum of $43 million. It’s fun to see them stage a diversion before robbing a bank. They set fire to a diner just across from the bank. After the robbery and they discover the amount of money they just stole, Bobby plans on taking down Stig. This proves unsuccessful when Stig shoots Bobby in the shoulder and wounds him. It’s here that the two discover each others true identity. Stig takes off with the money and this sets the rest of the film in motion.
There are a ton of characters that show up and several twists in the story, but it works here. All of the characters are given something to do and more emphasis is put on the relations between all of them before the plot itself. Bill Paxton is great as Earl. All he wants is his money back and he’ll do just about anything he can to get it back. He has an unconventional method of playing Russian Roulette. Instead of pointing the gun at someone’s head, he instead aims it at their knee (among other areas). After all, what good would it do to shoot someone in the head before they’re given a chance to answer your questions? Paula Patton also shows up as Deb Rees. She plays Bobby’s love interest and has a few secrets of her own. Another strong performance is Edward James Omos as the drug-lord Papi. Like most of the characters in the film, he simply wants his money back. Your enjoyment of the film depends on how much you’re willing to let the plot run its course and go with the characters and their chemistry. The plot simply acts as an excuse to get to the action and there’s plenty of it. If you like explosions, gunfire and shootouts then look no further. The film more than delivers in that aspect and is a lot of fun. I remember reading some of the reviews talking about how convoluted it was and how there’s one twist too many. I disagree. There is a lot going on, but since all the characters are given something to do it becomes easier to get involved with the story. Washington and Wahlberg are front and center, but the villains are just as interesting. Paxton is having a great time here and Olmos does fine work as well. James Marsden also shows up as Quince. He (like pretty much every character in the film) just wants some of the loot. All of the characters eventually come together by the end of the film. This leads to a fun and well staged shootout. There’s even a nice last-minute twist before the end credits roll. I won’t say 2 Guns is for everyone, but if you’re a fan of films such as Lethal Weapon and 48 Hrs then you may want to give it a try. I was also reminded a bit of True Romance in that we’re introduced to a large group of characters who all come together by the end of the film. This is a fun film that delivers the goods. I’d like to see more films like this come around.
Video: How’s it look?
Universal continues to do fine work. The HEVC 4K 2.40:1 transfer adds a bit of depth, dimension and detail to the already impressive Blu-ray. Details are strong constantly offering rich, deep colors. Colors are always warm and well saturated and flesh tones accurate. Watch the speckles in the classic car that Denzel Washington drives in the film and you will see rich details. There are several day scenes in the film, often in the hot sun while never looking soft or washed out. The print used is clean and shows no signs of grain or other defects. This is a solid transfer.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The original DTS HD Master Audio mix has been replaced by a DTS: X track. Like the video, it’s a modest upgrade but nothing mind-blowing. All of the channels get plenty of use here. Vocals are always clean and background noise strong throughout. Bullets fly, cars, buildings explode. There’s a lot of action in this film and the track never lets go. There are a few scenes with bulls in the background and rear channels come through nicely. There’s a late scene with a helicopter in the background and this offers a nice, smooth balance as well. There’s little to complain about here, this track accompanies the film very nicely and will please fans.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – This track includes Director Baltasar Kormakur and Producer Adam Siegel.
- Deleted Scenes – Eight scenes totaling just under 12 minutes. These are just OK, don’t expect anything remarkable though.
- Click, Click, Bang Bang: The Making of 2 Guns – There are 4 parts here. 1) The good, the bad and the sexy. 2) Undercover and into action 3) Finding the vibe and 4) Living Dangerously. Taken together these offer 30 minutes worth of material and offer some great tidbits. They’re all worth checking out.
- Boom! 2 Guns The Graphic Novel – Essentially that. The graphic novel “version” of the film (with some obvious differences).
- Lines of Fire: Improv on the Set – Again, pretty self-explanatory. Essentially it’s a gag reel, though not labeled as such.
- A Viking in Hollywood – Baltasar Kormakur and his big budget “debut” along with some talking heads in the form of Washington and, you guessed it, Mark Wahlberg.
- Going Undercover: The Role of a Lifetime – Director Baltasar Kormakur, Washington and Wahlberg wax philosophical in this one.
- Storyboard to Screen – I think, by now, we all know what these are. Crude sketches and their resulting “appearance” in the film.
The Bottom Line
2 Guns is a fun, though forgettable, film to watch. It’s got action, some comedic moments as well as some great performances by Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Universal’s disc ups the ante with improved video and audio, so if you’re a fan – this is the version to have.