Whether you favor existential comedy ala Sideways or Lethal Weapon-style actioners, the buddy formula is one with a long-standing tradition in pop culture: two individuals, equal and opposing, the straight arrow and the wild card, the philosopher and the buffoon. The DEA agent and naval intelligence officer?
2 Guns, based on the graphic novel by Steven Grant and Mat Santolouco, has been described as “a light-hearted romp in the vein of Ocean’s Thirteen and The Italian Job.” It concerns the exploits of Marcus Stigman and Bobby Trench, played by Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, who team up to steal money from the mob, neither one knowing the other is in fact an undercover agent, nor that the funds, in fact, come straight from the coffers of corrupt CIA officials.
Based on the trailer, it seems like 2 Guns will be a fun (if somewhat insubstantial) affair: lots of banter, shootouts, on-the-hoof planning. My worry is that the characters of Stigman and Trench have too much in common to generate the frisson necessary to elevate the film to more than standard genre fare; it seems like it’s going to be up to Wahlberg and Washington to pull it out the bag. The shot of Wahlberg with a sniper rifle strongly recalls his starring role in Shooter while Washington can lawman-with-attitude in his sleep (Training Day, Inside Man, Safe House). In any case, it’s all about the chemistry.
Meanwhile, Bill Paxton (Aliens, True Lies) brings his inimitable wild-eyed sleaziness to the part of Earl, presumably one of the CIA bunch, while Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, Battlestar Galactica) provides rumble-throated gravitas as (presumed) drug lord Papi Greco. Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) would seem to be on love interest duty. James Marsden AKA Cyclops is also making an appearance.
2 Guns, directed by Balthasar Koramkur, is due out on August 2nd. More on the Washington/Wahlberg team-up when we have it.