Purchase photos

'2 Guns' is needlessly complex


School is around the corner -- and so is the end of summer movie season.

School is around the corner -- and so is the end of summer movie season.

Cinematically, August is home to the C-Team summer movie lineup and the occasional dark horse. "2 Guns" is something of a gray horse. It wasn't impressive or surprising enough to be considered a full dark horse, but it wasn't the train wreck I was expecting.  

One of the side effects of seeing a lot of movies is seeing a lot of movie previews. Study any subject for long enough and one develops the ability to see the patterns just below the surface. When seeing previews of "2 Guns," I was confident I knew how the film would play out. In fact, the joke I had been making was I felt I already had seen "2 Guns."

Quite the contrary, the plot of "2 Guns" is complicated almost to the point of absurdity. However, the complexity isn't an additive. The film isn't trying to convey themes or hint at a deeper message. It's complicated because the filmmakers felt, incorrectly, that adding additional story layers would make the experience more reputable.

The exact opposite is true. The unnecessary plot layers end up serving as an insulator between the respectable chemistry of leads Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg and the rest of movie.

If, instead, the focus had been on the odd couple/buddy cop angle, I think it could have been more of a fun ride.  

Interestingly, a strong comparison can be made to the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy film "The Heat" from earlier this summer. Both films are classified as action comedies, and ultimately received the same rating from me. However, it is easy to recommend "The Heat" over "2 Guns."

Four of six stars

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation. james.gerstner@gmail.com