Film: "2 Guns"; Cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, James Marsden and Bill Paxton; Director: Baltasar Kormakur; Rating: **
Based on a cult graphic novel by Steven Grant, "2 Guns" is an intriguing, action packed buddy film complete with greed, corruption, deception and double crossing.
Two buddies - Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) after being cheated by a Mexican drug lord (Edward James Olmos) decide to rob a bank that holds his ill-gotten wealth.
Unwittingly, instead of picking the drug lord's three million dollars, they land up stacking a little over 43 million dollars belonging to an even more ruthless organization, the CIA.
Once the heist is done and when their plans go awry, they dwell into their partner's past and trustworthiness.
They realise that they haven't been truthful to each other; Bobby is an undercover DEA officer, while Stigman is an ex-Navy officer, each of whom seems to be putting up a charade.
And that's not all, there are other go-getters trying to claim a stake in the heist.
Apart from the Mexican drug lord and the ruthless CIA agent (Bill Paxton), the duo find themselves pitted against their own colleagues with divided loyalties. They are the seductive DEA agent (Paula Patton) and a slimy Navy official (James Marsden).
The film has it all - action, trivial nudity, guns, drugs, cartels, more guns, jokes, funny scenes, vehicle chase in the desert, fisticuffs, restaurant getting blown up, bank heist, cops, CIA, Naval Intelligence, bad guys and good guys.
Like every other buddy film, Washington and Wahlberg generate an attractive mismatched chemistry that complements each other.
Washington with gold plates on his teeth seems to have slowed down on his action. He plays a far lighter role than he usually does in action projects. His and Wahlberg's interaction does sizzle from the first instinct onwards.
In contrast to Washington, the gum munching Wahlberg lights up the screen with his punchy one-liners and aggressive adamant role. It is truly enjoyable to see the two of them rolling on the floor engaged in a fisticuff.
Of the other supporting actors, Paxton and James Olmos serve up a convincing fare.
Patton as Washington's colleague and love interest hams her way.
Visually the film is attractive with good sound and production quality. The set action pieces are nothing much to rave about.
Director Baltasar Kormakur's "2 Guns" starts off on a very promising note. But as the layers unfurl, the plot-holes seem glaring and the film immediately starts to drag even though the premise is intriguing.
The story gets tedious as the narration sluggishly tries to establish itself. It rambles and then teases with what looks like a thoughtful plot, with all the unravelling happening in the second half, it seems like it's made of various "that would be cool" plot elements strung together.
Watch the film only for Wahlberg and Washington's camaraderie.