Bobby: You ever hear the saying, “Never rob a bank next to a diner with the best donuts inside of three counties”?
2 GUNS is the kind of Hollywood movie I have very little interest in anymore. Every element of it feels like it was conceived around a board room table by a bunch of people who care more about money than they do this film. Get two proven and likable stars and throw them into a series of scenarios that they should never be able to plausibly get out of and, just to keep the audience continually guessing to make it seem like the plot is entirely original, make it so no one is who they say they are and nothing is as it seems. This is quick, easy filmmaking because it doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to make happen and because no one is actually pushing themselves. Frankly, the whole thing is so obviously marketable, I’m surprised the movie isn’t called #2Guns.
At a time that Hollywood is being criticized for its glorification of violence, this movie boasts not one but two guns. The “2” guns in question are Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and “Stig” Stigman (Mark Wahlberg). These two are a riot together and it’s like they’ve been working together for years. As they case a bank they plan to rob and catch a little breakfast at the diner next door, we learn everything we need to know about their relationship. All that matters is that they seem entirely mismatched, just another odd couple, but they talk fast and they talk tough so they’re infinitely cooler than you are, or I am, for that matter. By the time they really show you what they’re made of, it doesn’t even matter that they are actually talking about something as sappy as how Bobby doesn’t let people in and how Stig wants in. How adorable is that?
Here comes the crazy part! Well, here comes the part that you’re supposed to think is crazy anyway. Neither Bobby nor Stig is who they say they are. Both are undercover agents, Bobby for the D.E.A. and Stig for the Marines. Neither party knows this but won’t it get wacky when they find out they were getting played. The unfortunate part for these two is that the people they are supposed to trust, are playing them too, so all Bobby and Stig have is each other. They’re going to have to learn to trust in each other if they’re going to make it out of this alive. Even as I was writing that, I had a hard time keeping a straight face. Washington and Wahlberg deserve great praise for making this contrived premise even remotely watchable. Their chemistry is what salvaged 2 GUNS from complete disaster. You won’t hate watching it but you won’t remember watching it either.