Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are the ‘2 Guns’ on Peacock

Who knew that Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg would make such a great buddy team?

In 2 Guns (2013), Washington and Wahlberg play a pair of freelance criminals who specialize in odd jobs (mostly illegal) for a drug kingpin (Edward James Olmos). Denzel is wary and cagey, with an easy confidence and a quiet strength that suggests he’s always calculating his options and his odds, while Wahlberg is the earnest, boyish junior partner who throws himself into every situation with unflagging optimism and partner loyalty.

That’s not the whole story, of course, and the bank job they pull to double cross their boss unleashes a lot of complications very quickly. Don’t be fooled by the title: there are hundreds of guns and bazillions of spent rounds in this fast-moving action flick.

We’re not talking about Tarantino cleverness here, mind you, despite the flashback opening and the wise-guy banter. The screenplay (based on graphic novel) is silly, but no more so than most recent action films today and less so than many, and it’s packed with enough twists and turns and car chases and shoot-outs and explosions to keep the film careening in overdrive.

Director Baltasar Kormákur, an Icelandic import who previously directed Wahlberg in Contraband, doesn’t sweat the silliness, or the fact that there aren’t really any good guys to be had here. He just moves it along so fast that you don’t have time to ponder them. It has as runaway energy befitting a plot that seems to be spinning of control of our heroes (if we can call them that; in the company of such a corrupt collection of characters they actually look pretty good) and the energetic charge of seventies drive-in picture with better production values from a director who has a way with staging a set piece for maximum spectacle in minimalist environments.

Paula Patton, Bill Paxton and James Marsden co-star.

Rated R

Also on Blu-ray and DVD and on SVOD through Amazon Video, iTunes, GooglePlay, Vudu and/or other services. Availability may vary by service.
2 Guns [Blu-ray]
2 Guns [DVD]

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The Blu-ray and DVD releases feature commentary by director Baltasar Kormákur and producer Adam Siegel, the featurette “Undercover and Into Action,” and deleted and extended scenes. The Blu-ray also includes three additional featurettes: “The Good, the Bad and the Sexy” (on the film’s six stars), “Finding the Vibe” (creating the film’s style) and “Living Dangerously” (meet the stunt team).

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.