2 Guns Is 2 Good Actors, Not Much Else

Wahlberg, Washington can't revive this brutal, violent action flick: critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2013 11:48 AM CDT
2 Guns Is 2 Good Actors, Not Much Else
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Denzel Washington, left, and Mark Wahlberg in a scene from "2 Guns."   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Patti Perret)

The laid-back action flick 2 Guns, starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, has a comic-book feel, refreshingly little CGI, and two characters that just won't quit. But though the title hardly describes the amount of gun-wielding that goes on, it's probably a good indication of how many stars critics would slap on this shoot-em-up. Read on as critics shoot it down:

  • Wahlberg and Washington are "a hugely likable pair, exchanging one-liners with the same ease in which they trade gunfire," but it's not enough for Rene Rodriguez at the Miami Herald, who calls 2 Guns an "unremarkable, standard-issue shoot-em-up that rests entirely on the charisma of its two stars." She liked the set pieces, though.
  • So did Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times. But "though individual set pieces are well done, the film inevitably leaves an empty taste behind it once it's done." And he disagrees when it comes to the stars, or at least their characters: This is a slick movie, but that can only take it so far when the characters' "non-winning personalities and the film's exploitative attitude toward women and violence are added into the mix."
  • The "multiple incidents of torture and brutality, including animal cruelty," didn't sit well with Mark Jenkins at NPR, either, though the first 20 minutes of flirting and bickering were "enormous fun." After that, "nearly everything's a little off, including the bulk of Blake Masters' script," Jenkins writes. "As the countdown-clock plot ticks toward its conclusion, every tock moves the movie further into overplotted tedium."
  • So is there anyone who liked it? Sure. Chris Knight at the National Post writes that the movie "succeeds on the script, which has Wahlberg and Washington sparring and trading quips like a couple in an old screwball comedy. ... Even the stellar supporting cast tends to fade into the background; with these 2 guys, there’s no need for anyone else."
(More movie review stories.)

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