Out & About

August 8, 2013

Washington, Wahlberg the right match

The buddy cop flick is a time-tested formula, but its success generally rests heavily on the shoulders of whoever plays the two inevitably mismatched partners.

In the case of “2 Guns,” Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg prove more than capable of carrying the load.

The film often stretches believability, but it’s energetic and fast-moving, and the charisma and chemistry of the two stars mask most of the flaws.

Washington and Wahlberg play undercover law-enforcement officers from different organizations —that’s not a spoiler; it’s evident in every commercial and trailer — neither of whom knows the other’s true identity.

Washington is Bobby, a smooth-talking DEA agent. Wahlberg is Stig, a naval intelligence officer who acts like a smart-mouthed knucklehead but is smarter than he seems.

Both agents are, separately, trying to infiltrate Mexican drug dealer Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). To do this, they have to rob — don’t ask why — a small-town New Mexico bank.

Instead of incriminating evidence, though, the duo come away with a mountain of cash that everyone seems to want.

There are plenty of bullets, one-liners and double crosses as Bobby and Stig join forces — Bobby reluctantly, Stig with gusto — to thwart bad guys. Washington and Wahlberg spar amusingly and handle the action with ease.

The film also benefits from some above-average villains. In addition to the scheming drug kingpin played by Olmos, there’s a clean-cut but crooked Navy officer played by James Marsden (“X-Men”) and, best of all, Bill Paxton’s sadistic and amusingly over-the-top CIA operative.

Paula Patton (“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”) is on hand to complicate things as Washington’s ex-girlfriend and fellow DEA agent, though as is often the case when so much testosterone is being thrown around, her character is underutilized and disappears for stretches of screen time.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Steve Ouellette's Movie Reviews

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Entertainment Videos
'The Bachelorette' and Her Beau Go Public Tatum Says Filming 'Foxcatcher' Was 'tortuous' Was That Harry Potter at Comic-Con? Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Uzo Aduba Says Emmy Nod Is 'Crazy' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up Mirren Not Thrilled to Play 'The Queen' on B'way The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Shawn Mendes Jumps From Vine to the Music Charts Cook Shifts Gears in 'Planes: Fire and Rescue' ShowBiz Minute: Stritch, Marvel, Beyonce ShowBiz Minute: Cole, JWoww, Box Office ShowBiz Minute: Garner, Backstreet, George 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Legendary Actor James Garner Dies
CVPH Job Opportunities