2 Guns is the 154,673rd male-driven one.
But wait, that's okay! Denzel Washington is in a good mood for once (see below). Mark Wahlberg has more fun winking at waitresses than shooting drug lords, but even more fun blowing the heads off chickens. (Again, see below!)
Plotwise, Bobby Trench (Washington) and Marcus "Stig" Stigman (Wahlberg) are two undercover agents out to bring down a Mexican drug lord played by good ol' Edward James Olmos. The plan is to cripple the cartel by stealing $3 million by way of a bank robbery, but they actually find $43 million. Worse: Neither knows that the other is not a criminal. This high-octane late-summer release could have been yet another forgettable flick of summer 2013, but there are so many genuinely funny moments throughout we think it's worth a look. The film also stars Paula Patton, Bill Paxton and James Marsden. Here are five reasons 2 Guns is worth checking out:
1. Denzel and Mark: A Dynamic Duo. Watch out Chickens! In one scene, Wahlberg shows a talent for shooting fowl. Like, an insane talent. The whole time the two try to shoot each other (and succeed), and there are also numerous stand-offs south of the border. You've seen this all before (well, not the chicken scene), but 2 Guns is the perfect example of why stars are are stars. Both of these actors have been way too serious lately. (Okay, Wahlberg was sorta funny in Pain & Gain.) On screen for together for the first time, the pair actually seem to be having fun, and are a pleasure to watch.
2. Paula Patton Shows Off Her Guns. Deb (Patton) must balance her undercover love affair with Bobby while dating an unseen bureaucrat named Harvey. While her real life hubby Robin Thicke keeps us shaking with his new album Blurred Lines, Patton hops into bed with a shirtless Washington. Patton's lovely locks somewhat obscure the topless actress, but you'll see enough to be crazy jealous of the pop star.
3. Paxton's SOB. Hot on the trail of all that money is Earl, played with cool menace by the former Big Love star. Mucho props to Paxton (and the smart script by Blake Masters) that after so many endlessly tense Russian-roulette movie scenes, Earl is the first person to make a compelling case for not shooting his victims in the head.
4. Feels like True Romance-era Tony Scott. Some of Washington's biggest hits in the 2000s were with the late director. 2 Guns helmer Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband) maintains Scott's grit with bullets aplenty, and the rat-a-tat banter is grin-inducing. The results are less deadly serious Man on Fire (2003), more stoner-Brad-Pitt-funny a la ‘93 Tarantino-scripted ‘Romance.
5. Hooray! Happy Denzel! With his fake gold teeth, Rat Pack hats and that silly goatee, Bobby's a DEA agent who embraces his baller lifestyle as a drug runner. (Clearly, Bobby hasn't seen American Gangster, where Frank Lucas frowned upon such extravagances.) Audiences can relax, sit back, and enjoy a performance from the star who isn't about getting another award. That alone makes 2 Guns worth seeing.
Does the pairing of Washington and Wahlberg entice you? Can an end-of-summer release starring two A-listers really be considered a sleeper hit? Sound off in the comments!