Written by / 8/06/2013 / No comments / , , , , , , , ,

2 GUNS

year: 2013 cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Edward James Olmos, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward rating: **1/2
There’s a severed head in a bag, reminiscent of BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA, and that’s not the only Sam Peckinpah connection… The next scene has chickens buried to their necks followed by the poor things being shotgun-blasted ala PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID.

And then, the 70’s cinema homage splurge, intentional or otherwise, is truly highlighted with a small hole-in-the-wall bank named after the New Mexico town, Tres Cruces (known as "The City of Crosses"), where bad people keep an abundance of bad money, robbed by two masked marauders far out of their element – Don Siegel’s CHARLEY VARRICK ring a bell?

With a constant R&B shuffling soundtrack, liken to the Quentin Tarantino and/or Elmore Leonard universe, 2 GUNS is a bag o' loot buddy film where our anti-heroes know very little about each other… Each appear as simple bank robbers until Mark Wahlberg’s muscle-bound Stig is revealed as an ex Navy operative, and Denzel Washington’s sly and savvy Bobby Trench is a DEA Agent.

Both characters, like the audience, are never quite sure what’s around each corner: especially after stealing forty-three million dollars from... an unexpected (or not so unexpected) "group" led by a sadistic Russian Roulette playing Bill Paxton. But an independent Mexican drug lord Papi, played with growling machismo by Edward James Olmos, is more fun to root against: especially when he takes Stig and Trench into a tortuous bull-barn with gloomy interior reminiscent of Michael Ritchie’s PRIME CUT.

As you can probably tell by all the movie title name-dropping, the retro inspirations never run out… Set in a scorched desert that could easily pass as a modern day Spaghetti Western, eventually, once the duo venture into civilization, there’s an overabundance of bickering team-up clichés and a pivotal heist so far-fetched you’ll wait for the inevitable Mexican Standoff just to feel grounded.

Washington and Wahlberg have decent chemistry even though their best moments involve solo ventures. Once separated, neither are sure where the money’s stashed while constantly targeted by violent hit men trying to get their greedy/grubby hands on it. And to give anything else away would spoil the twisty-turny fun that 2 GUNS thoroughly revels in...
RENT/STREAM CHARLEY VARRICK TO WITNESS THE ORIGINAL TRES CRUCES BANK ROBBERY
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