2 Guns is a terrible name for a movie.
I would not normally open a review by making fun of the film’s title – I stopped caring about what most movies are called after realizing Hollywood had long since stopped any and all efforts to create quality titles – but in this case, doing so seems apropos for two reasons.
First: 2 Guns really is a spectacularly awful title. We are talking hall-of-fame levels of stupidity with a name like that. What does it even mean? A promise that, at minimum, the film has one pair of firearms to entice audiences? That when we see a gun in the movie, we can rest assured it will never feel lonely, because another gun will be in close proximity? Is it a high-concept sort of thing, wherein the main characters only have access to two guns to take down an entire criminal operation? Is it a wacky arthouse piece in which two firearms become sentient and search for the true meaning of life, the universe, and everything? Or is it merely another lame, slapdash marketing phrase flailing desperately to make this insipid buddy-cop action comedy stand out from the interminably large crowd of other insipid buddy-cop action comedies, and really only indicating that the two protagonists will each not only carry a weapon, but be defined by their proficiency with violence?
Really? That’s it? Gee, how original.
Second: The title is probably the best thing about this movie. And by best, I actually mean least excruciating.
Because here’s the thing: If you are dumb enough to title your Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg vehicle 2 Guns, your actual intention in doing so is probably to emphasize the core chemistry of the leads in a way that sounds fun, goofy, and frivolous. And even if the horrible title in no way succeeds in attracting me to the project, I would have no problem with a fun, goofy, frivolous action comedy in which Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, two immensely charismatic and entertaining performers, enjoy one another’s company while partaking in some carefree action heroics. That should, by all rights, be a good, amusing night at the movies.
But 2 Guns is not amusing. Nor is it in any way, shape, or form ‘fun.’ It is unpleasant, top to bottom, a lazy, tonally schizophrenic mess that gave me not an ounce of pleasure over what felt like a five-and-a-half hour runtime (I am told it actually runs 109 minutes, and my watch confirmed that when the lights finally came up, but I cannot for the life of me believe it is true). 2 Guns is ugly, sadistic, tone-deaf, and utterly uninvolving, an uncomfortably dark piece of violence porn masquerading as a witty buddy comedy, and I found just about every second I spent watching it to be absolutely excruciating.
I have written at length before about how much I hate writing bad reviews. That remains true. I love cinema, and am therefore sad when I see a bad movie, and oftentimes even more miserable when I have to dwell upon the experience in writing. But to quote an action movie cliché I am legitimately surprised 2 Guns never trotted out, I am going to do my best to enjoy this. 2 Guns hurt me, and I want to hurt it right back, here on my own critical turf. I am not going to do this as a traditional review. That would be letting the movie off too easy. No, this piece of garbage deserves something more befitting of its own general sadism, something more elaborate, resentful, and unbelievably petty.
It deserves a top 10 list.
So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Things I Hate Most About 2 Guns.*
*Arranged for dramatic effect, not in any meaningful order of hatred.
Continue reading on the next page…