Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur makes a crooked cop drama with some 1970s Drive-in grit in "2 Guns," starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Denzel plays the smooth and callous Robert Trench who is an undercover Narc. Wahlberg is an ex-Navy wisecracking bruiser, named Stig. Both were brought into contact by chance and both have their eyes on three million dollars in a Texas bank. The film has plenty of earthy and crude one liners and its formulaic plot is satisfyingly offset by the solid chemistry of Wahlberg and Washington.
Denzel Washington plays in a familiar snaky vein as he lusts after the money with a reptilian intent, while Wahlberg makes a bit of fun with his boyish hunk looks and his once modeled muscles. As in "Training Day" there is a good bit of cold urban naturalistic filmmaking with lots of sweaty and seedy characters.
Edward James Olmos appears as a drug lord right out of a pulp spaghetti western complete with deadpan lines. And the vivacious Paula Patton is also here as a dark eyed beauty with secrets in a role that seems to be very much in the style of Salma Hayek. Think of this film as part "Training Day" and part "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" (2003).
Although "2 Guns" hits upon many tequila tossed and slithery anti-hero films of Robert Rodriguez's past, the film possesses a watchable and entertaining charge, delivered by a cool and calculating Denzel Washington. Part of the fun is guessing who will double cross whom first with Wahlberg acting the part of a Boston tough with an added edge of wisecracks.
The film has some extra charge delivered by Bill Paxton as a government man you will love to hate.
"2 Guns," based on a graphic novel by Steven Grant, is definitely pulp with a fun climax. With its unmistakable cactus and fruit fly tableau echoing B-movie history and gun play, the film is yet another conceptual piece. Thankfully the dark and kidding interplay of Wahlberg and Washington slides upon the eye with more than a few easy and nostalgic winks.
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