Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen the movie 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg and plan to do so, you may want to skip this review until after you have seen the movie. I will keep some of the big scenes under wrap; however, because I'm comparing this movie with another movie -- Training Day -- my views on some of the scenes may be spoilers.
Pass or Fail?
After I saw the movie, 2 Guns, I left the movie theater with mixed feelings as to whether or not the movie 2 Guns was a pass or fail. I think the best way for me to explain my thoughts about this movie is to compare the movie with a similar "buddy type" movie starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke -- Training Day.
Denzel Washington won an Oscar as best actor for the movie Training Day. After seeing Training Day on the big screen at the movie theater as well as on DVD, I can honestly say that his Oscar win was well deserved. As a brief summary of the movie -- Training Day is about a seasoned police officer (Denzel Washington) training a "neophyte" officer (Ethan Hawke) on how to make a bust in the drug trade. This movie turned out to be much more than a movie about training.
The movie, Training Day, stood out not only because of the Oscar award winning acting by Denzel Washington, but also due to the twists and turns in the movie plot itself. Denzel Washington's acting chops were at their peak during this movie. He was so believable in his scenes, it was difficult for me to tell if the training he gave was authentic or if it was a guise to set up Ethan Hawke. On a personal level, I think this movie would have been even greater without the profusion of profanities in it throughout.
Now, lets move on to Denzel's Washington's and Mark Wahlberg's current movie -- 2 Guns. This movie is about two men robbing a bank for $3 million dollars, which turns out to be actually a little more than $43 million dollars. You will find out their actual identities when you see the movie. The plot involves other interested parties trying to get the stolen money back. Similar to Training Day, Denzel Washington has sort of a side kick with Mark Wahlberg playing the part.
In my opinion, Denzel Washington having a side kick is where the similarity between Training Day and 2 Guns ends relative to being a quality, "sitting on the edge of your seat" type movie. I think Mark Wahlberg was a fail at playing the "funny man" part in the movie with his glib lines and supposedly humorous comebacks to Denzel Washington. In my opinion Mark Wahlberg tends to act with his eyebrows, instead of using his overall facial expressions. In other words, again, in my opinion, his expressions seem to stay the same whether he is acting seriously, or humorously.
Denzel Washington, unfortunately was also a fail at bringing any type of audience attachment to or involvment with his character in this movie. Before seeing this movie, I read a snippet about the movie and was surprised to see it being described by some as a comedy. There was sort of a funny part when the two were driving towards each other on a dirt road, which culminated in fighting -- ending with them counting down to three to release each other -- with neither trusting the other to release their wrestling hold. Other than that, this movie seems to repeat itself in some spots, including the dialogue, and the drug kingpin who they were after (which was also part of the plot) was at one time locked in a trunk, at another time holding them as his prisoner, and in one scene actually being compared to Einstein. Go figure.
Also, unlike the movie Training Day, there was no true genuine emotional ties shown between any of the characters. For example, when Denzel Washington's character finds out that his friend, played by Paula Patterson, was no longer alive, he simply said something to the effect that "She is dead." with no show of sadness or remorse whatsoever. From his reaction, she could very well have been an animal instead of a human being -- notwithstanding that some people are very attached to their pets.
Other misses, in my opinion were the crude use of humanly body functions, the gross scene with the chickens, the lack of chemistry between Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg and even Paula Patterson in some of the scenes when they were interacting with each other. The movie gave me the impression the actors were merely saying their lines instead of truly acting their parts.
A plus for the movie, in my opinion, was the dialogue was not laden with as much profanity as Training Day, and if I recall correctly, most of the profanity was voiced by Mark Wahlberg instead of Denzel Washington. Before you tell me this is a rated "R" movie and this language is to be expected, I would like to let you know that some movies, in my opinion go over board with the profanity which does nothing, again in my opinion to move the movie plot forward.
The Oscar winning movie, Training Day, obviously, in my view, comes out on top in more ways than one. This movie was totally believable in every sense of the word. In Training Day, you saw a character who considered himself at the top of his game, finds out very emotionally in the end that he was not as revered as he thought when people rightfully so turned their backs on him. The truth be told -- he really brought his demise upon himself due to his devious actions. On the other hand, 2 Guns was, in my opinion, a run of the mill action movie -- heavy on the action and very light on the acting.
Lights, Action, Camera! -- Real Ms. H
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