So, I went to see 2 Guns hoping the Denzel’s string of incredibly bad films has finally come to an end.
Sadly it hasn’t, at least not entirely.
2 Guns gives us two wonderful characters, DEA Denzel Washington and Navy Intel agent Mark Wahlberg…each thinks the other is a career criminal at first and when they realize they have both been played by people in their relative agencies they team up to try and recover their careers and see justice be done.
The two characters of this movie were great. They were witty, noble, sarcastic and brave. And they played off of each other in the way of the old buddy cop movies (not the string of derivate movies that were forgotten, but the early ones we still love). I really like these two characters. The problem is that somehow these two wonderful characters got stuck in a movie that made little sense, and surrounded by a supporting cast that varied from detestable (not in a good way) to just surreal.
I liked these two…I just didn’t like the movie.
Now in retrospect I can think of a myriad of plot points…but I think it’s unfair to hit a movie with anything you didn’t see while watching it or think of as you were leaving…the problem is that there were so many plot holes with just looking at it this way. Not to spoil too much but you have to believe that the CIA has a rogue operation keeping about 20 separate stashes of cash in the realm of 40-50 million dollars in safety deposit boxes (that’s 40 million in one bank) and when someone robs them they’re willing to risk exposure to get it back. Now I find it hard to believe that any organization would risk 95% of everything they have to get back 5%…further compounded by the fact that it is implied these slush funds are regularly dipped into so really the total value of the operation is upwards of a billion dollars but they’re willing to risk it all get back $43 million. This seems really, really dumb from a logistics standpoint. Also it seems really dumb to keep a slush fund in cash. If this movie had been made in 1970 it would make sense…but what the hell are you going to do with a 43 million in cash (let alone the implied billion). You can’t transport that easily (cash is really heavy) and transport of that much cash sets off all kinds of red flags. Moving ones and zeroes in a computer would seem like a much easier way to control a slush fund. The whole premise of the movie just seems really bizarre. Also Denzel somehow drove over the US/Mexican border in a car lined with 40 million in cash and wasn’t stopped by border patrol…you believe that don’t you? You can get locked in prison if you take a gun across the border…the hell you’re getting 40 million in cash over.
I could go into some of the other plot holes and absurdities (and there are many) but let me touch on one other point I disliked about this movie. As a conservative I have a distrust of large government. I think it leads to inefficiency, suffering and harm. But also as a conservative I believe the government does serve a function, that of its role in police and military purposes (and a few others that aren’t relevant)…and because of this, while I have numerous examples of police being corrupt, inept and overzealous, I still have a lingering feeling that most people who join the military and law enforcement join because they want to what is right, to serve their nation and community and to see justice done. This movie seems to give the impression that with the exception of Denzel Washington and Mark Walhberg’s characters every single person in every single military and police agency is corrupt—DEA, CIA, Navy Intel, Navy command—all corrupt. I’m not foolish enough to think it’s all sunshine and roses…but this was a little over the top, even for Hollywood standards. It is not the depiction of one bad apple spoiling the bunch but that there are bad apples and then they collide at once and nothing else.
But if you can get over that thematic material and the plot holes, Washington and Walhberg are very funny and enjoyable to watch.
Overall grade C