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DEA Agent Robert Trench (Denzel Washington) and Naval Intelligence Officer Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have both infiltrated a drug syndicate run by Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos), a creep who carries the head of a decapitated adversary around in a bowling bag. Therefore, the imbedded lawmen are careful to make sure their cover isn’t blown while bringing down the ruthless kingpin.
However, neither of the narcs is at all aware of other’s true identity, which means they aren’t prepared to serve as backup in a sticky situation. Worse, when an operation does go bad, they are initially suspicious of each other.
But once they clear up the mutual case of mistaken identity, they conspire not only to crack the cartel but to relieve it of $43 million in ill-gotten gains sitting in a bank vault. This development doesn’t sit well with Earl (Bill Paxton), Papi’s accomplice holding the key to the emptied safe deposit box.
Directed by Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband), 2 Guns is basically an adrenaline-fueled buddy flick featuring a high body-count designed to satiate the bloodlust of the lovers of gratuitous gore. Here a body, there a body, everywhere a body-body.
The picture has its share of titillation, too, most of it coming courtesy of an inscrutable moll played by pretty Paula Patton, real-wife of crooner Robin Thicke. The problem is that the preposterous plot never pretends to be plausible, a failing perhaps forgiven by diehard Denzel Washington fans eager to see him trading quips with Mark Wahlberg or cavorting carnally opposite a topless Ms. Patton.
As for standouts in the supporting cast, Edward James Olmos and Bill Paxton do great jobs of portraying a couple of readily-detestable villains. But their never-developed characters are so simplistically drawn that the audience’s job is just to sit back and wait for these bad guys’ inevitable demise.
A remarkably unengaging adventure, given its incessant attempt at overstimulation.
Fair (1 star)
Rated R for profanity, brief nudity and pervasive violence
Running Time: 109 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures