Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
|Featuring:||Denzel Washington … Robert ’Bobby’ Trench
Mark Wahlberg … Marcus ’Stig’ Stigman
Paula Patton … Deb
Bill Paxton … Earl
Fred Ward … Admiral Tuwey
James Marsden … Quince
Edward James Olmos … Papi Greco
Robert John Burke … Jessup
“2 Guns” begins by showing Bobby (Denzel Washington) and Stig (Mark Wahlberg) at a small diner across the street from the bank they are going to rob. They are an easy-going pair that might as well be discussing an upcoming baseball game, rather than the hit they plan for the next day. Appearances can be deceiving.
Flashback to a week earlier where we learn the story began during Bobby and Stig’s last trip over the border to buy drugs from a kingpin named Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). Bobby, who is actually an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) field agent, begins to plan the bank robbery with Stig who, as it turns out, is Naval Intelligence, also undercover. So how two U. S. Agencies end up colliding against each other, pursuing their own agents, a Mexican drug cartel and the CIA is revealed in the rest of the movie.
Violence: Heavy. As you can imagine people are killed in a variety of ways; many are shot, with a few that are direct to the chest, head and knees (during one of two torture scenes). Men are run over, blown up, stabbed and people are beaten in the face with baseball bats yet strangely no blood or gore are shown and a henchman is punched in the groin. Chicken heads are shot off for fun, and a man’s decapitated head is partially seen in a bag.
Language: Extreme. The movie is not wall to wall curses, but it seemed that way often and included the F-word (27x), s*** (26x), a**h*** (7x), b***h (5x) with crude nicknames for the male anatomy (5x) and the Lord’s name taken in vain 5 times. Others, heard only a few times, included “damn,” “hell,” “devil” and “piss.”
Sex/Nudity: Heavy. There are two scenes showing Bobby meeting Deb (DEA co-worker and ex-girlfriend) in a hotel room for sex (mostly implied), and she is seen both in her underwear and topless. The film takes full advantage of the “R” designation for violence, language and, to a lesser extent, the sex, but audiences should take the rating seriously. No one under 17 should see this.
A few points must be said about the film’s political slant. In order to come back across the border, Bobby and Stig are forced by the drug lord to swim/walk like other illegal immigrants do every day. This belies the reality that the drug cartels have financed much better ways of crossing the border, such as through sophisticated tunnels, however, this scenario plays into the hands of the current “immigration debate.”
CIA Executive Earl (Bill Paxton) states that America is the greatest because of the things we promote such as, “greed, selfishness and covetousness.” Though the character is portrayed as an unsavory one, this unfortunately promotes an anti-American bias in an otherwise short, throwaway scene. The fact that so many of the villains are also U.S. officials also lends credence to that viewpoint.
During their tryst Deb (Paula Patton asks Bobby, “Did you ever really love me?” and Bobby responds, “I meant to.” While this is a sad commentary on their relationship, the scene made me consider the very real choice all of us have to make during our short time here on Earth. Immediately after we breathe our last, many will come face-to-face with Almighty God and have to answer why they never loved Jesus, God’s only Son, even though they always “meant to.” There can be no deceit at that time, and there will no longer be an opportunity for excuses.
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” —Hebrews 10:26-27
Perhaps most disheartening was when late in the film our heroes are seen planning something blatantly illegal. They are essentially using the “world's” excuse that “two wrongs equal a right,” but we should instead ask ourselves, “in that case how are they so different from the villains?” The Word of God clearly calls us to do otherwise.
“2 Guns” is similar to many other “buddy” films, and the chemistry between Bobby and Stig, along with an intricately woven story made this a better than average entry into the category. Denzel Washington is a very charismatic actor, which is why I chose to see this movie in the first place. Unfortunately, the offensive content, along with mixed messages, detracted much from the film, and this is certainly not one of the nobler things the Apostle Paul suggested we pursue (Philippians 4:8), and so I cannot recommend this to Christians.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.