Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — While my love of just about anything film will allow me to enjoy an idea retold billions of times, there remains genre concepts which create little excitement beforehand no matter how interesting the trailer. One area I’ve reached a “Meh” stage in recent years is the buddy cop formula, primarily since the least amount of effort is put into trying to freshen up a plot where two “odd couple” personalities must solve an unsolvable case together.
I can’t name one original crew example in the last decade where I felt any desire to watch it more than the boredom induced hour or two, with “21 Jump Street” being the closest to any being worth a sequel. However, with today’s title came another chance and the latest “since nothing else was showing” with results that actually feel not only refreshing, but an adventure that isn’t afraid to delve a bit deeper than just slapstick antics. “2 Guns” earns it’s graphic novel inspired chops by actually drawing the audience in as the bullets fly instead of making us feel like we’re watching an outdated television through a smudged store window.
The events featured focuses on what starts out as a grand criminal exploit by two partners, Robert Trench (Denzel Washington) and Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg), who seem to be setting in motion the robbery of the Tres Cruces Bank. It’s done in that style where you start at a really exciting point in the movie before flashing back how the duo got to this point, that way we can all get to know them better.
Well, it sort of gets us to know them, in that neither really knows who the partner really is, other than what each sees as a perfect patsy for their ultimate goal and now that I think about it, actually kind of hurts the brain to explain spoiler free. Let’s just say that eventually both our gunmen figure out they need each other to survive in a tangled world where everyone from the DEA to the NAVY to the CIA have all been corrupted by a common greed and all characters are just one bullet away from elimination. Despite this, it’s all brought together in a very entertaining way and besides, the villains include Edward James Olmos as a ruthless drug lord named Papi Greco and an almost as slimy government agent named Earl played by Bill Paxton.