Film review: 2 Guns (15)


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The Independent Culture

Like the Eighties never went away. Take two antagonistic characters – say, Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hours, or Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in Midnight Run – insert them into a semi-comic action thriller, and wait for the buddy chemistry to spark.

In this case, it's Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as, respectively, a DEA agent and a Navy Intel officer, working together for a narcotics syndicate. The twist is that neither man knows the other is undercover.

Blake Masters's screenplay cooks up a plot that is tricksy without being plausible or involving, its central thread the whereabouts of a $43m booty that crooked high-ups (Bill Paxton, James Marsden) want to get their hands on.

Almost everybody in this caper is crooked, apart from Washington and Wahlberg, who defy the film's cynicism without offering much in its place.

The escalating violence isn't leavened by the macho comedy between the duo as we come to realise its casting flaw: one of the mismatched buddies has to be funny, and in this case neither has the chops for it. 2 Guns, 2 Stars, 0 laughs.