Sunday, August 4, 2013

Marky Mark And The Wild Bunch

Reel To Reel: 2 Guns

Going Rate: Worth matinee price
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos
Rated: R
Red Flags: Strong language, intense action violence, brief frontal nudity

It's difficult to write about 2 Guns because the entire movie is a labyrinth of plot twists intended to set up the big payoff scene teased in the theater poster. Beyond that, it's a serviceable buddy-buddy action comedy, although only one buddy is having the fun.

I can tell you the plot involves a bank heist in a Texas border town that goes better than expected, or worse than expected, depending on your perspective. The two robbers, Trench (Washington) and Stig (Wahlberg), are small-time drug runners hitting back against a Mexican kingpin who welched on a cocaine deal. When Papi (Olmos) fails to deliver the product, the two decide to hit Papi's drug money stash in a safe deposit box. Only they find getting Papi's money comes with a lot more headaches than they expected. Soon they're not only wanted by the kingpin's thugs and the police, but also each other. I'll leave it at that.

Denzel Washington is so good in so many roles, and here he's the straightman to Wahlberg's manic faux-homeboy wiseguy who likes to wink at women. I like how Denzel's Trench doesn't feel the need to lighten anything up. Stig, however, conveniently seems to forget he's white, as if Wahlberg suddenly had a flashback to his rapper days with the Funky Bunch. I remember working at Six Flags over Mid-America in the mid-90's when he played a show and called out, "Who's got my kiss?" at one point during a break. That Stig, he's down with the ladies. So is Trench, to be sure, to a hottie played by Paula Patton. I can tell you without spoilers it's Trench who ultimately gets more girl action.

Olmos' role as a cartel baddie surprised me. Here is somebody who has pushed for America to overcome Latino stereotypes, who pointed out the horror of Mexican-American gang life in American Me, and he's playing a foul-mouthed drug lord who talks about the size of his prize bull's organs of increase. I can't tell Olmos what roles to pick, but when I see him here, is it really unfair for people to wonder if this guy was hurting for a paycheck? He told Fox News Latino he actually ends up being one of the good guys, but that logic is about as twisted as this film's pretzel plot.

Let me try something. Rather than delve into any more performances, I'm going to give you the movie's remaining notable elements, and you can try sticking them together to see if you can divulge the plot before you see it.

  • The DEA
  • The CIA
  • The U.S. Navy
  • The local cops
  • Mounds of cash
  • Loads of weapons
  • A stampede of bulls
  • Russian Roulette
  • Illegal immigrants
  • Donuts
  • Gas fires
  • A hotel suite

Got all that? Good. See you at the movies.

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