Monday, December 11, 2017
Things To Do

Review: Washington, Wahlberg dynamic duo in '2 Guns'

Volume is a key element of any action flick, typically the decibel kind. 2 Guns is different, not in the din of its gunfire but the volume of bad guys being shot. Quantity, in effect, equals quality here.

2 Guns bundles a quartet of tried and true deadly forces — a drug cartel plus crooked CIA, DEA and military types — and puts them in the crosshairs of weapons toted by the eminently charismatic team of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. That means everything gets multiplied beyond the usual shoot-'em-up: wisecracks, ricochets, close calls, everything. Nothing succeeds like good-humored excess.

Of course, setting up all these adversaries in sensible fashion is a difficult task. Director Baltasar Kormakur and screenwriter Blake Masters, working off a series of graphic novels, may or may not have done it satisfactorily. Honestly, 2 Guns is too fun to notice any holes besides those being blown in people and property. I'd need to see it again to judge how well the caper holds together, and I wouldn't mind.

Washington plays Bobby Trench, a cool customer plotting a small town bank robbery with caffeinated Michael "Stig" Stigman (Wahlberg). What neither knows is that the other is working undercover: Bobby for the DEA and Stig for U.S. Navy Intelligence. They're both on the trail of drug kingpin Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) and the bank reportedly houses $3 million in drug money.

What confuses Bobby, Stig and the audience for a while is why their robbery nets more than $43 million. It turns out that the CIA is somehow involved, with a sweaty, sadistic agent named Earl (Bill Paxton) leading the pack. The Navy, represented by so-helpful-he-can't-be-trusted Quince (James Marsden), also wants the cash. Papi isn't happy, either. A lot of shoehorning and short cuts are required to fit all this skullduggery into one movie but it mostly works.

It's best to forget the plot and simply enjoy this bumpy, bullet-ridden ride. Washington and Wahlberg make such a wonderful team — a modern Butch and Sundance in patter and aim — that you wonder why Hollywood never thought of this pairing before. Each character has an identifying quirk: for Bobby, a collection of straw fedoras; for Stig, a punctuating wink. Mostly the actors are just having fun and it's contagious.

2 Guns is a movie based on smart callbacks and sly flip-flops of loyalty, regularly interrupted by spasms of well-staged violence. The perplexing nature of Masters' plot takes effort to sort through but sets up a terrific finale, literally a Mexican standoff between everyone wanting the money, with Bobby and Stig back-to-back in the middle, spraying gunfire in all directions. It's a dynamic sequence that, like the rest of 2 Guns, proves overkill can be amusing.

Steve Persall can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall on Twitter.

Comments

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMississippi State vs. Cincinnati7 p.m.ESPN2Fordham at Rutgers7 p.m.ESPNUSt. Peter’s at Seton Hall7 p.m.FS1Michigan at Texas9 p.m.ESPN2Albany at Memphis9 p.m.ESPNUNBALakers at Knicks7 p.m.ESPN76ers at Timberwolves9:30 p.m.ESPNNH...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘80s Holiday Gift Guide: Here’s what to buy your friends this season

‘80s Holiday Gift Guide: Here’s what to buy your friends this season

The holidays are almost here, and as a proud fan of the '80s, you no doubt want to represent the decade in your gift-giving again this year. But how many A Christmas Story leg lamp ornaments can you really give out? Here are some fresh ideas to ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Kesha, Macklemore coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Kesha, Macklemore coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Brush your teeth with Jack Daniel's and put on your grandpa's hand-me-downs, because Kesha and Macklemore are teaming up for a summer tour.The pop outcasts-turned-heroes will hit the road for a 30-city trek that includes a stop at Tampa's MidFlorida ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

MondaySEASON FINALE: The Gifted, 9 p.m., Fox: The team at Mutant HQ is divided on what to do next after Jace is forced to hand over something valuable to Dr. Campbell.Disney's Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic, 8 p.m., Freeform: A behind-the-scenes l...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Watch: New ‘Ready Player One’ trailer is instant classic

Watch: New ‘Ready Player One’ trailer is instant classic

Have you seen the first full trailer for Ready Player One? Here it is. It debuted Sunday, and a million '80s nerds all cried out in joy. Like the book by Ernest Cline, it just dazzles. It looks like Steven Spielberg is back in top form again. (Sorry,...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic creature feature The Shape of Water soaked up seven Golden Globes nominations Monday, kicking off another marathon awards season. The Shape of Water is nominated for best dramatic motion picture alongside Christop...
Updated: 11 hours ago
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale "The Shape of Water" swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes, while the HBO drama "Big Little Lies" led television nominees with six nods. In what’s being viewed as a wide-open Osc...
Published: 12/11/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Petula Clark: The two-time Grammy Award-winning artist is known for hits like Downtown, I Know a Place, My Love and I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love. 2 and 7:30 p.m., Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34.50-$49.50....
Published: 12/11/17
Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

A new documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried reveals someone more mild-mannered than his stage persona, married with children, verging on dull. His voice doesn’t grate, dropping half its nasal quality and all of its foul-mouthed bluster....
Published: 12/11/17
Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein story, chef and television personality Mario Batali offered up his views on how to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for an Oct. 30 video for Fast Company."You need a workplace free of fear, that harbors an...
Published: 12/11/17