creating a dystopian vision of abject poverty there, is because you're making a film about drugs. The most tenuous of links connects up We're The Millers and 2 Guns, but as each of them can be reviewed in brief, and both films show American actors getting themselves into scrapes with Mexican drug lord characters, let's look over both at once.
The pairing of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg is a huge boon to Baltasar Kormákur's 2 Guns, in which DEA agent Bobby and naval intelligence officer Stig separately have the goal of busting a drug cartel, but neither knows that the other is an undercover officer. And so, when they try to bust each other after an ill-advised bank robbery, they find themselves disavowed by their employers and on the run from both the CIA and a bunch of pissed-off cartel members.
In theory, this is an unabashed throwback to 80s buddy cop cinema, evoking films like Midnight Run and Lethal Weapon. There's some killer dialogue, delivered well by the experienced cast. Both leads are very likeable on their own, and a few different pairings with younger actors, Washington may well have found the perfect foil in Wahlberg. Denzel's not playing it grumpy, but Marky Mark's charisma is uniquely at odds with his in a way that's really entertaining to watch.
2 Guns feels like a film that has benefited from a punch-up writer, meaning that someone came in to do some possibly uncredited work on the dialogue, either right before or during principal photography, in order to punch up the banter between characters. By that late stage, the film has been budgeted, and scheduled, and the story and structure isn't going to change much. Perhaps that would explain how a film with such strong, funny dialogue, is let down by such a weak narrative.
2 Guns is still showing in cinemas nationwide.
The brief appearance of Thomas Lennon sets the tone for this film right at the very beginning. It feels like Lennon has amassed 20 minutes of screentime altogether over the course of ten big comedy movies in the last decade, (plus The Dark Knight Rises) and he has a tendency to come on, do a quick cameo as a deadpan or milquetoast-y character, and then disappear. It's only at the end that you realise he was the funniest thing in the movie.
That's not necessarily true of We're The Millers, but it's also not as funny as it ought to be. On the whole, it wins through based on the chemistry between its lead actors alone. The hilarious Will Poulter graduates into mainstream comedies here, but he's surrounded by Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts too, and the four have a great, endlessly watchable dynamic. Backed up by supporting roles from Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as a Stepford couple with a dark side, the film does prove to be sporadically funny.
We're The Millers is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
If you've seen We're The Millers or 2 Guns, why not share your comments below? Also, do you think Mexico gets a bad rap in Hollywood movies? Discuss!
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.