“2 Guns” is a reminder of the power of movie stars.
The movie itself is a machine of a thing — standard Hollywood parts assembled efficiently by director Baltasar Kormákur (“Contraband”), all the cogs and wheels and whistles chugging along as expected.
You’ve got the older cop-younger cop dynamic, the cold-blooded drug lord, the ever-present corrupt or uncaring government officials. There’s a femme fatale, a snappy bank robbery with funny masks, some dirt-flying auto stunts in the desert and, of course, the requisite number of impossible situations to escape.
But mostly there’s the never-ending macho buddy banter, making light of danger and risk, joking in dire moments, shielding any real emotions or character traits, making the whole thing — despite the surplus of dead bodies — just so much darn Hollywood-type fun.
This is where the movie star thing comes in. Because the guys doing all that bantering are Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, each with a perpetual “I’m so cool” twinkle in his eye (Wahlberg even includes a series of winks, just to thrill the ladies).
And Washington and Wahlberg give good banter. They’re smooth and funny, and you want to hang out with them forever and be smooth and funny with them.
For some that will sell the movie. The overly familiar story elements, the completely superficial characters, the trite action scenes, the absurd testosterone levels — there is really only one female character in this film — all will be forgiven, and possibly embraced, just for the chance to hang with Marky Mark and Denzel.
That’s star power. It’s not enough to make the movie good, but it’s enough to get you through it.