DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: August 2, 2013
Rating: Rated R for violence throughout, language and brief nudity
Genre: Action | Comedy | Crime
Run Time: 109 minutes
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, Bill Paxton

Finally! The funny, fast-paced action movie we’ve been waiting for all summer has arrived. It’s not without flaws (note the R rating, for one) but for good old-fashioned, blow-up-bad-guys, buddy movie entertainment, 2 Guns delivers a double-barreled blast of fun.

It’s a modern homage to the classic Western genre. Bobby "I know a guy" Trench (Denzel Washington, Flight) and “Stig" (Mark Wahlberg, Pain & Gain) are working together for Mexican drug kingpin Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos, The Green Hornet). Except they're not: unbeknownst to each other, each man is undercover for a different government agency trying to take down said kingpin... and each other. When their plans go awry, they end up robbing a bank to get Papi’s cash, only to find that the money they’ve stolen belongs to someone much scarier than a drug cartel. As everything and everyone turns against them, these two have only each other. They’ll have to work together to stay alive—assuming they don’t wind up killing each other first.

Pretty much everything in this film works beautifully. Washington and Wahlberg play off each other like the masters they are; one wonders why it took them so long to work together. Their reluctant partnership is reminiscent of the Lethal Weapon series with a little Butch and Sundance thrown in. Bobby's sly, dry humor is the perfect foil for Stig's clumsy, puppy-like charm. Both stars have superb comic timing and the script gives them plenty of opportunities to show it off (you'd best plan to rent this one later, you'll need to rewind multiple times to catch all the lines drowned out by laughter). The pace is fast but never frantic; director Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband) applies both accelerator and brakes to the story at exactly the right times. Even with all the shoot 'em up action and special effects—including some truly lovely explosions—the focus is always on the characters. Their relationship is central to the story, making this an action movie that’s more about people than car chases and fist fights.

And now a few words about the not-so-perfect parts: there is a graphic scene involving cruelty to chickens and I don’t mean eating it fried. Bobby's co-worker Deb (Paula Patton, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol) appears topless in a brief but completely unnecessary display of nudity. There are racist remarks and attitudes; the action takes place on both sides of the Texas/Mexico border so several stereotypes are conveniently at hand. Creative methods of torture are employed to extract information, especially by Papi and slimy CIA agent Earl (Bill Paxton, Haywire), the very last man you want to meet in a dark alley (or a lighted one, for that matter. Russian roulette, anyone?). A lot of people get shot. A lot. Many of them die… but they’re mostly all bad guys, so movie justice is done.