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Video Reviews

Plugged In Rating
Content Caution
MPAA Rating
Credits
Genre
Drama, Action/Adventure
Cast
Denzel Washington as Robert 'Bobby' Trench; Mark Wahlberg as Marcus 'Stig' Stigman; Paula Patton as Deb; Bill Paxton as Earl; Edward James Olmos as Papi Greco; James Marsden as Quince
Director
Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband)
Distributor
Universal Pictures
In Theaters
August 2, 2013
On Video
November 19, 2013
Reviewer
Bob Hoose
2 Guns

It's taken three years for United States DEA agent Bobby Trench to work his way up in the ranks of Mexican drug kingpin Papi Greco's gang. Now he's deep undercover and so close to the take-down prize that he can almost taste the payoff of a string of arrests.

The only problem is, his boss is getting antsy. He doesn't want to keep feeding resources into this scheme if they can't make it count. And soon.

Navy intelligence officer Marcus Stigman, meanwhile, has also been working toward his own bring-them-to-justice score in Greco's gang. And his superiors have been nudging him toward pulling off a heist of Greco's drug-money bank. Pop the 3 mil or so in that bank while in bad-guy guise, and they figure the rest of Greco's chips will surely start to fall.

Of course, there's a couple of flies in the undercover ointment that neither Bobby nor Stig know about.

Neither man realizes, for instance, that they're teamed up as partners. (Each guy still thinks the other is a thug.) And neither knows that the bank safety deposit boxes they're about to boost don't hold $3 million, but rather a payload of closer to $43 million. And, surprise! None of it is Papi's cash.

Positive Elements

Both Stig and Bobby do try to bat for the good guys' team, and they're not always averse to rooting out what went wrong with the bank job. (Among other things.) We see Bobby take time to comfort a baby and child in a moment of chaos. And when an innocent splashes under some fast-moving river water, Bobby dives in to save him. Stig calls Bobby "family" after their harrowing adventures.

Sexual Content

Bobby and his former girlfriend/DEA control agent Deb are seen in bed together. He's shirtless; she's wearing nothing but a skimpy pair of panties. (Her bare breasts, legs and backside are admired by the camera from several angles.) Papi visits his mistress, and we see the busty woman in silky nightwear.

Violent Content

2 Guns is a big budget actioner that careens from realistic gunplay to painful-looking torture to broad, almost comic action-violence.

The torture first: A CIA operative coaxes information out of a man by playing a variation of Russian roulette. He shoots one victim in the leg leaving him screaming and bleeding. With another man he aims at a leg and then his crotch—striking empty chambers both times. He also sticks tacks through a stack of note cards and slams the sharp points down on a man's hand. Papi has his own form of torture that involves viciously thumping strung up and suspended people in the upper body with a baseball bat and releasing an enraged bull to charge at the writhing victims. He kills a bound woman by placing a pistol to her forehead. (The camera cuts away just before he pulls the trigger, then we see the ravaged results.)

And here's the rest of it: Bobby and Stig have a tumultuous partnership, ranging from actually shooting each other to chasing and crashing into each other while driving. In one over-the-top chase they end up slamming two trucks together in a game of chicken. Upon impact, Stig uses the momentum of the crash to leap out of his vehicle and punch Bobby in the face before both men sprawl out the opposite door of the truck.

Gas explosions and fires destroy a local diner and a large building on a naval base. In the latter, walls are blown out and servicemen are sent flying. An enormous firefight involves scores of men with automatic weaponry, a helicopter with a mounted minigun and a vehicle rigged with powerful explosives. The helicopter crashes with an explosive whomp, the scenery is ripped to shreds … and quite a few folks die.

Guys are pummeled with pistol stocks and rifle butts throughout the pic, and are killed with bloody shots to the head and upper body. In fact, nearly everyone we've been introduced to in the course of the film is dead by picture's end. Men try to blow the heads off squirming chickens that have been buried in the ground up to their necks. (One of them succeeds.)

Crude or Profane Language

About 25 f-words and almost as many s-words. A half-dozen or so uses each of "a‑‑" and "d‑‑n," and two to four uses each of "b‑‑ch" and "h‑‑‑." Jesus' name is misused three or four times. A thug sarcastically says "God bless you." Various vulgar references are made to male genitalia. Many crude jokes and comments swirl amongst the ranks of bad-mouthin' bad guys.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A DEA agent chases a slug of Pepto-Bismol with whiskey. After getting shot in the shoulder, Bobby pops pain pills while a vet stitches up his wound.

Other Negative Elements

Papi urinates on his hands before wielding a bat (for torture purposes), talking about how it toughens his mitts. After a rough ride in the back of a truck, we see Papi unconscious, covered in his own vomit.

Several jokes are tossed out at the expense of donut-eating cops. [Spoiler Warning] Ultimately it's revealed that all the Navy intelligence officers and CIA agents are corrupt individuals readily willing to not only ignore the law, but in many cases torture and kill for money.

Conclusion

Let me lay it out for ya: This is an R-rated, rough-and-tumble, scratch-and-spit heist flick called 2 Guns. It ain't gonna be safe and fun for the whole family. Period. You know it. I know it. (Actually, it's not safe or fun for anybody, never mind the family part.)

So what's in it (just in case you didn't read the rest of the review)?

Witty repartee, car chases and a dash of heroics, a big finale showdown with lots of guns, bare breasts, animal torture, human torture, conversations about forcible testicle removal, pistol whippings, gratuitous vomiting, farting, bullet-to-the-brain assassinations, a decapitation, still more bloody deaths, violent explosions, heavy weaponry tearing up the scenery, corrupt government agents, corrupt government officials, tons of stolen cash and heavy profanity punctuated by scores of f-bombs.

That ought to give you the sense of what it looks like when there are no good guys and bad guys—when it's just everybody (agents, officers, thugs and kingpins) all rampaging after $43 million in stolen cash.

With some movies, it seems, there's no need to try to dig any deeper than a shallow grave.

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