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A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who have been tasked with investigating one another find they have been set up by the mob -- the very organization the two men believe they have been stealing money from.
For more about 2 Guns and the 2 Guns Blu-ray release, see 2 Guns Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on November 20, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, James Marsden, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
» See full cast & crew
2 Guns Blu-ray Review
One gun, two guns, three guns, more!
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, November 20, 2013
Double crosses. Triple crosses. An extra helping of crosses on top of increasingly tangled numerical crosses. 2 Guns is a buddy cop genre pic in the guise of a punchy pulp comicbook actioner, one that attempts to toy with convention, actively subvert every action-movie cliché in the book, and crack a few familiar, wise-crackin' skulls in the process. Trouble is director Baltasar Kormákur and screenwriter Blake Masters' adaptation of Steven Grant's original graphic novel isn't nearly as clever as it thinks it is, and never quite manages to lift Grant's colorful characters off the page. That little consolation prize instead comes courtesy of Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg and the duo's scene-chewing supporting cast, who at least make 2 Guns watchable. Entertaining even... if that is you're willing to switch off your brain and take the movie on its own flashbang terms.
Meet Bobby (Denzel Washington) and Stig (Mark Wahlberg): criminals for hire, except that they're not really criminals. Bobby is an undercover DEA agent, Stig is an undercover NCIS officer. There's just one problem... each one thinks the other is exactly what he claims to be. Soon the two join forces to steal $3 million from Mexican drug lord Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) for their respective agencies, only to discover the take is actually $43 million. The stakes are suddenly that much higher. Thirteen back-stabs and betrayals later, Bobby and Stig struggle to gain their bearings, and neither one knows who to trust. With so much cash up for grabs, the duo find themselves in the crosshairs. But who does the money belong to? And who can Bobby and Stig trust? Greco? Navy Admiral Tuway (Fred Ward)? Bobby's lover Deb Rees (Paula Patton)? Stig's commander Quince (James Marsden)? Bloodthirsty power player Earl (Bill Paxton)? Kormákur? Masters?
I couldn't help but think of Sylvain White's The Losers while sitting through 2 Guns, followed almost immediately by two-dozen other high-action shoot-em-ups; every single one of 'em backed by big-blockbuster casts that are far and away their films' greatest assets. Kormákur and Masters take loving shot after loving shot at the genre to scattershot ends, dropping one-liners and shell casings as if both were going out of style. 2 Guns doesn't rise above the action-movie fray so much as it takes a turn in an already crowded firing range. It's a wild free-for-all that doesn't try to hide the Big Dumb Fun coursing beneath its surface, with Olmos, Marsden and especially Paxton having the times of their lives. But it's also a shaky, unreliable, unnecessarily convoluted misfire that would tip over if Washington and Wahlberg weren't so busy steadying it. Even when next to nothing makes sense, even when gaping plot holes threaten to swallow up what little plausibility Kormákur tries to establish, even when their performances amount to one over-the-top round of mugging after the other, both A-listers deliver.
And it's a tricky balance. Get a kick out of headliners like Washington and Wahlberg dabbling in the dark side? Willing to look the other way when plot twists are obvious and plot progression is needlessly complicated? Value comicbook gunplay, colorful criminals and angsty antiheroes above... well, anything more compelling? 2 Guns is for you. There's just plenty more like it out there, and plenty more on the horizon. Escapism isn't exactly a new American pastime. We've been dumping billions into the hard-R action grinder for decades. Films like 2 Guns, though, are caught between genre classicism and more contemporary, self-aware thrills, paying homage to the guilty pleasures of the '90s while taking a stab at something newer and more clever. Once in a great while, a film comes along that strikes that balance and enters the new action lexicon. 2 Guns is not that film, fun as it is if you're able to set aside expectations, switch off your brain, and be entertained by good actors knowingly sinking their teeth into a fatty, gristly script.
2 Guns Blu-ray, Video Quality
2 Guns takes aim with a killer 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation that rarely, if ever, disappoints. Contrast is a touch hot and delineation oppressive, but colors are warm and carefully saturated, black levels are exceedingly deep (with only intermittent instances of crush), and skintones look great. Detail is excellent, with crisply defined edges, well-resolved textures and exacting closeups, and grain is intact. There also isn't any significant banding, macroblocking or aliasing to be found, although some minor ringing does appear from time to time. None of it proves problematic, thankfully, and Kormákur and DP Oliver Wood's intentions are honored.
2 Guns Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track kicks down door after door, guns blazing. Shootouts, explosions, throaty dune buggies, roaring engines and thundering helicopter attacks feature ample low-end heft, and the LFE channel makes its presence known. And with bullets ricocheting, shrapnel flying and debris scattering, the soundfield is immersive and involving. Directionality is precise, cross-channel pans are smooth, and cramped kill rooms boast as much ambient prowess as more chaotic action-packed sequences. Dialogue is clear, intelligible and impeccably prioritized too, even when Washington and Wahlberg have to compete with gunfire. All told, 2 Guns is an AV crowd-pleaser.
2 Guns Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack Contents (Subject to Change): The initial combo pack release of 2 Guns features a slipcover (with the original pressing), one BD-50 disc, a standard DVD copy of the film, and a Digital HD UltraViolet digital copy that works with iTunes.
2 Guns Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
2 Guns fires wide and runs out of ammo long before its double and triple crosses are exhausted, making for an R-rated popcorn shoot-em-up that's big on action and little else. Washington, Wahlberg, Olmos, Paxton and Marsden keep it all entertaining, but only just. Universal's Blu-ray release is much better, with a terrific video presentation, hard-hitting DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, and a solid complement of special features sure to satisfy fans of the film. Even so, it's only a matter of time before 2 Guns lands in the bargain bin at Best Buy.
2 Guns: Other Editions
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2 Guns Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: 2 Guns - November 19, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Universal Studios Home Entertainment are offering five members the opportunity to win a copy of director Baltasar Kormákur's 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, Fred Ward and Edward James ...
• This Week on Blu-ray: November 19-26 - November 17, 2013
For the week of November 19th, Universal Studios is bringing both The World's End and 2 Guns to Blu-ray. Other titles include Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story, Alexander Sokurov's Russian Ark, John Carpenter's classic actioner Assault on Precinct 13, Violet & Daisy, ...
• 2 Guns Blu-ray - September 24, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet combo pack release of director Baltasar Kormákur's 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, Fred Ward and Edward James ...
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