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What the critics are saying: ‘2 Guns’

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in '2 Guns.'. Handout

TORONTO — Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg enter the crowded summer movie market with 2 Guns, an action flick directed by Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband).

The movie stars Washington as Bobby Trench and Wahlberg as Marcus Stigman — agents caught up in a caper involving millions of dollars.

Does 2 Guns hit its mark or fire blanks? Here’s what some critics are saying.

Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times called 2 Guns a “self-consciously nihilistic action movie” with two “non-winning personalities.”

He wrote: “Though individual set pieces are well done, the film inevitably leaves an empty taste behind it once it’s done.”

Claudia Puig of USA Today describes 2 Guns as “a brutal, complicated and sporadically funny movie.”

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She opined: “By its conclusion the story has worked so hard to be twisting and clever that it runs out of steam and becomes outlandish, marked by a surplus of violence — too often casual and gratuitous — for what essentially is a buddy cop movie.”

At the New York Times, Manohla Dargis said Washington and Wahlberg make “one of the better odd couples to bond and bicker” since Danny Glover and Mel Gibson.

“Stig certainly sounds like a nod to Riggs, the funny, frantic cop played by Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon series, as does Stig’s jokey yammering, military-honed skill set and concern for animal welfare.”

Kyle Smith of the New York Post also picked up on the pair’s chemistry, noting it looks “a bit like flirting.”

“They finish each other’s sentences, order each other’s breakfast, chat about Les Misérables and even stroll into the sunset arm in arm,” Smith wrote. “During one friendly tiff, Bobby and Stig nearly crash their pickups, then reach into each other’s windows to lovingly pummel each other, then get out and start rolling around on the ground in their jeans. This was the point where a lady behind me at the screening called out, ‘Why you just don’t kiss?'”

In the Washington Post, reviewer Ann Hornaday said the chemistry between Washington and Wahlberg “packs far more heat than the explosions.”

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Hornaday was offended by the “reckless gunplay” and said the movie will appeal to anyone who doesn’t mind “seeing guns used as props, fetishes, phallic symbols and, most tastelessly, jokes.”

She added: “Admittedly, though, 2 Guns contains at least one great line, as one of the characters tells Patton, ‘I meant to love you.’ Funny, that’s exactly how I felt about the movie.”

It’s a line echoed by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.

“Washington has a nice, noirish line to his romantic interest, a cop played sexily by Paula Patton: ‘I really meant to love you.’ Hell, I really meant to at least like 2 Guns. But I couldn’t. The movie just didn’t make the extra effort,” he wrote.

One fan of the movie is Cary Darling at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

2 Guns is better than its ad campaign or release date might suggest. Peppered with solid performances, a handful of funny lines, and an energetic style that distracts from the contrived, convoluted plot, 2 Guns … is surprisingly entertaining,” Darling wrote.

“In a summer when so many of the hype-heavy movies turned out to be big-budget bores, it’s refreshing when a movie like 2 Guns achieves its admittedly modest ambitions.”

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