Armed and not very dangerous; ‘2 Guns’ (2013).

7 Sep

2 Guns posterOne of my favourite things about summer is the deluge of mindless popcorn movies that should, theoretically, fill the cinemas. Fast 6 remains the pick of the crop, however, as 2 Guns falls flat on its face trying to marry buddy-cop banter with some really rather egregious violence.  Much like director Baltasar Kormákur’s previous film Contraband (also starring Mark Wahlberg), this movie is massively forgettable, though could well be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

A DEA agent (Denzel Washington) and a naval intelligence officer (Mark Wahlberg) team up in an effort to infiltrate an infamous drug cartel. However, neither of them are who they appear to be, and their respective secrets unravel amidst a flurry of betrayals, bullets and bad guys. Can they work together, or is nobody to be trusted?

This movie is as vapid as action movies come; it’s the sort of film that’ll pop up a few months later on Netflix, forcing you to watch the first ten minutes before finally realising that you have, in fact, already seen it. Wahlberg and Washington both put in what’s required of them, and they do their damndest to sell some of the roughest dialogue to grace a major production in ages, most notably the recurring and bizarre motif of “never rob a bank across from the diner with the best donuts in three counties”. It makes Pacific Rim‘s script read like Othello in comparison.

What kills this movie is its gratuitous levels of gore and violence. Make no mistake,  it’s entirely possible to balance snappy dialogue with brutality – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a good example, and Tarantino achieves it to a certain extent. From taking pot-shots at trapped chickens to kneecappings to some rather ugly scenes involving baseball bats, this movie spots the line and pole vaults over it. Although Bill Paxton puts in a fine performance, every time he appeared I knew something awful was about to happen and it completely took me out of it. There are artful ways to demonstrate depravity and accomplishment with firearms; 2 Guns apparently missed this lesson.

An unremarkable, standard-issue action movie that’s about as bland as its name suggests, the random and extremely jarring scenes of unnecessary violence kibosh the whole experience by injecting a lethal dose of discomfort into the already dull affair. Oh, and there are plenty more than two guns, so the cherry on top is that we’re being lied to.

Simon says: not much firepower for 2 Guns.

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