Review for 2 Guns
The world has turned upside down. This isn’t the first time I’ve watched a movie, taken it at face value to be an original genre piece, only for the end credits to begin with “based on a graphic novel”. There was a time when if you went into a Hollywood producer’s office with a comic book under your arm, you’d be thrown out on your ear. I get the feeling that if you try and sell a movie in Hollywood today, the first question will be, which comic book are you making? 2 Guns is based on a graphic novel of the same name, published by Boom Comics. Not that I’m influenced by this, I’m just approaching it as a buddy action comedy thriller.
Bobby and Stig are small time criminals, taking a load of forged passports to a Mexican drug lord south of the border in exchange for a load of cocaine that they can sell to a dealer back in the States. The drugs aren’t forthcoming, but what really offends Stig is Little Toro’s head in a duffel bag. Little Toro was their contact with Papi Greco’s cartel, and Stig thinks it’ll be easier to get payback another way. Papi brings a wodge of cash with him every time he visits his mistress in the US, and it’s all stashed in the Tres Cruces bank. Stig reckons that there is at least $3 million in a safety deposit box. When they rob the bank, they pick up over $40 million that they weren’t expecting. They’ve just ripped off someone a lot bigger, and a lot meaner than Papi Greco, someone who will do anything to get the money back. They’re in a lot more trouble even than that, for Bobby isn’t who Stig thinks he is, and Stig isn’t who Bobby thinks he is.
2 Guns gets a 2.35:1 widescreen 1080p transfer, with DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround and PCM 2.0 Stereo English with optional English subtitles. A film from 2013, 2 Guns looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray. The image is clear and sharp, with excellent detail and no signs of compression, although there is a smidge of black crush. It’s an action movie where the usual teal and orange colour grading doesn’t seem out of place given the film’s locations, while the surround is effective and put to great use conveying the action, On occasion, the dialogue can be buried as a result, but that’s what subtitles are for, right?
You get one disc in a BD Amaray, which boots to an animated menu following trailers for Escape Plan, Need For Speed, Riddick, and Metallica Through the Never, as well as a Mars Bar ad.
On the disc, you’ll find an audio commentary for the film from producer Adam Siegel and director Baltasar Kormakur.
There are four featurettes on the making of the film, Click Click, Bang Bang: The Making of 2 Guns (6:03), The Good, The Bad and The Sexy (8:07), Finding the Vibe (7:20), and Living Dangerously (9:02).
Finally there are 8 Deleted Scenes with a total runtime of 12:21.
The vibe is what this film is all about, or rather the chemistry between the two leads, Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington as Stig and Bobby. They create a great odd couple pairing, two career criminals who rub each other the wrong way. Bobby is smooth, slick, and empowered by wisdom and experience, whereas Stig is rougher, impulsive and impressed with his own charm. Of course this is just the surface layer, and when the two characters learn who the other truly is, that adds yet another layer of friction between the two. The writing is light, and apparently their dialogue was greatly improvised, and it makes for a great action comedy pairing in the vein of Riggs and Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon.
The story really works well, with Stig and Bobby stealing the wrong money from that Texas bank, and kicking over a figurative termite nest in the process. The job is such that they wind up double crossing each other, but then find themselves double-crossed by their respective employers, the money taken. They have to come clean to each other and work together again to get themselves out of the pickle. It’s quite the pickle too, as their first port of call is Papi Greco, who isn’t too pleased learning that these two meant to betray him, although his eyes light up at the prospect of getting his hands on that money.
At the same time, those whose money it was want it back, which elicits a scene stealing performance from Bill Paxton as Earl, who we first meet in the bank investigating the theft, but whose methods when questioning the bank manager indicate that he’s no simple investigator. This is one of those crime thrillers where the authorities are just as twisted as the criminals, and it’s the film’s protagonists that are caught in the middle, having to find a way out through all the deceit and betrayal.
2 Guns is a fast-paced, witty, and entertaining action movie, dark in all the right places, yet light enough to let the audience really enjoy the characters. It’s nice to know that not all comic books involve people in capes, and that some can give us movies like this.