2guns

There isn’t anything about 2 Guns that’s necessarily bad, but it’s disappointing to know when a movie as a whole could’ve turned out better.

Of course, audiences will probably forgive a film packed with blood and boobies for its absence of depth, considering all that bravado at its disposal courtesy of stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, who make the most of their screen time–even when they aren’t competing for the center of attention. Their chemistry is the driving force behind the laughs of the film, demonstrating that at least balancing out action with adequate chuckles helps.

Though the festivities kick off at a diner Bobby (Washington) and Stig (Wahlberg) have blown up, the chronology of the film actually begins a week earlier in Mexico, where the men do business with a drug cartel under the eye of Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos), a leader who’s especially harsh with two-timers.

That could be an issue if he finds out Bobby is an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration who’s angling to bring him down, and that the Navy has assigned Stig to do the same. However, the two have concealed their identities so well that neither knows the other is in on the whole thing. While a charade this dangerous can only hold up so long, it can’t end until they’ve got each other at gunpoint.

And if things weren’t bad enough, they acquire $43 million that a lot of people have their eyes on and aren’t afraid to kill for in order to claim it for themselves.

Although our heroes count Bobby’s ex-girlfriend (Paula Patton) as an ally, she’s at a loss when they end up in the cross hairs of villain Earl (Bill Paxton), as well as Stig’s colleague (James Marsden). Anyone who’s seen It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World knows a cash grab like this is certain to become a big ol’ boondoggle.

2 Guns falls into predictable action movie tropes, creating an atmosphere so devoid of suspense that even a moment carrying the feel of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window fails to provide chills. All the same, Washington is apparently in on the joke. He knows how enjoyable this fare can be despite the fact that everybody’s done it to death, and channels the cookie cutter-action star at the core of Hollywood’s best anti-heroes.

Wahlberg gets laughs out of dialogue that depends on the delivery. The dimension of Olmos’ performance will give audiences more than they bargained for in a movie with not too much going on.