2 Guns

2-guns

You shouldn’t read anything into the fact that, when playing catch-up on my reviews, I totally forgot I had seen this. It’s actually a really enjoyable diversion. no, it’s not the greatest film in the world, but it’s a highly enjoyable ride. The rapport between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg is relaxed and easy and, utlimately, the real selling point.

The story is all a bit silly and doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that at first they Washington and Wahlberg like each other, then hate each other, then reluctantly have to team up. How will they feel about each other at the end? Ooh, it’s such a mystery.

But taking a script that leans on all the conventions can either lead to something very creaky, or to something that has fun with it and this, fortunately, ends up as the latter. I think I’ve said before how much I like Wahlberg on screen and 2 Guns continues the theme. Washington, on the other hand, is someone I can often take or leave. I mean, I respect him – he’s an undoubtedly great actor – but his action thrillers are often less enjoyable than I feel they should be, taking themselves a little too seriously. Here, though, he is having fun, and his magnetism on screen shines through.

And while the film doesn’t do anything special in the story or character terms, it does bring some fresh images the screen in a few little chase sequences – one in the desert and one through a cowshed spring to mind – and when dealing with such standard material as this, a little innovation in the way things are shot is a massive bonus.

So all told, it’s nothing special, but it’s enough fun to be worth catching if you get the chance.

B

Film length: 1hr 49mins – Feels like: 1hr 40 mins

Broken City

submit to reddit

Russell Crowe is suspicious that Mark Wahlberg is the one who just broke wind. Wahlberg refuses to make eye contact, which seemingly proves the point.

Russell Crowe is suspicious that Mark Wahlberg is the one who just broke wind. Wahlberg refuses to make eye contact, which seemingly proves the point.

Broken City is fine, I suppose. It’s nothing special. It looks glossy, like an episode of CSI or NCIS (though I’ve never seen the latter so I may be way off on that). It’s slick. It does it’s business but it never quite becomes what it hopes it could be, which is a modern-set Chinatown. Where that film exposed fictional corruption in the city planning of Los Angeles in the 1930s, this film deals with similar themes in modern day New York. But where Chinatown had a wonderful aesthetic, really bringing the world the characters inhabited to life, Broken City looks glossy and flashy in a way that cities never really do.

Add to this the fact that the story takes too long to kick off, and when it does it doesn’t seem especially difficult for Wahlberg to find the proof he needs. It’s a shame because there was promise here. No matter what other’s have said, I’m a big fan of Wahlberg. He has a raw energy and charisma that the camera really picks up on, but here he’s a little flat. The same can be said for Crowe, who’s never quite as sleazy as you feel he should be in this role.

So there we have it. It’s borderline adequate and nothing more.

C-