Saturday, 17 August 2013



Train & Gain.

109 Minutes. Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton & James Marsden. Director: Baltasar Kormákur.

"Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha' going to do? Whatcha' going to do when they come for you"? Now what do you get when you take two Oscar Academy certified thespians and let them loose on some comic and action set-pieces? You get '2 Guns' starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. An out of nowhere hit action/comedy that is hallmark 80's/90's, sitting pretty and perfectly between the Summer and fall seasons of big blockbusters. Bold with a bang in it's own right, '2 Guns' is based on Steven Grant's graphic novel, but unlike it's weeks competition, it's more necessarily fun than needlessly graphic...and it still kicks ass. Even Jim Carrey would find trouble discrediting this one. As classic American as the songs playing on the radio and the food served up in the diner they're sitting in, these '2 Guns' hit their target with more bang for your buck. Just make sure you leave a tip.

Here's the first tip...don't write off Denzel Washington. The Academy Award actor may be getting a little grey in the beard but the most consistent Hollywood heavyweight's performances aren't getting old in the gold tooth. Sure critics may try and try to write him off, but he grounded all of that this year with the Oscar nominated 'Flight'...and he's on course for a great year too. Complete with an 'Out Of Time' shirt, 'Inside Man' hat, a 'Training Day' law and disorder degree and 'Man On Fire' gun control, (as well as the engaging emotional breaks that make him such a silent weapon of the all acting action hero) this will sit amongst the actors most enjoyable flicks in those Denzel Washington seasons you see making the rounds on the tube. Still, the greatest actor of our generation is far from done. He's 'Unstoppable' like that train, about to join the hit-girl competition, Chloe Grace-Mortez next year for 'The Equalizer'. The divided critics are subtracted now, add this to his multiplying classic filmography. Oh...and thanks for the love for the name Harvey, Denzel!

The other gun is no sidearm either. From 'Broken City' to 'Pain & Gain' this is Mark Wahlberg's year and with his furry and robotic, 'Ted' and 'Transformers' franchises forthcoming, 2014 looks set to be a marquee. The straight shooter, revealing that 'Contraband' tension, with buddy comedy funny like 'The Other Guys' and 'Shooter' action, gains another shot and notch for his last true action hero's expanding belt (you see the 'Pain' and muscle 'Gain'). Still, complete with a wink, click and gun, the one-line king hasn't had a mouth this smart for years...and you thought his quips 'Departed' the moment he owned and burnt Alec Baldwin, Leo DiCaprio and everyone in Boston for the Scorcese epic. He's still the wise-cracking Chris Tucker, to Washington's Jackie Chan ass kicking in this 'Rush Hour' and don't worry no chickens were harmed in the making of this picture. The buddy-cop genre is back and better than ever, thanks to the connection made by these stars of different films. Now how about 'Another 48 Guns' anyone?

As big and best the two leads are there is more in the clip of these '2 Guns', just like the slick plot to go along with the dry humour. Two bank robbers with two guns turn out to be more than meets the thiefs masks eyes and from there what unravels and weaves is something you need to twist and turn through yourself...but you best believe there's some action relief to go with all the clips and quips too. From off-road car chases to the best use of bulls since 'Knight & Day' or Jordan and Pippen, this is one cops and robbers, seals and kingpins thriller that snipes it's target audience and blows them away right to the Mexican stand-off fantastic finale. If that wasn't enough, Mrs. Robin Thicke, Paula Patton, doesn't blur her lines, showing that 'Ghost Protocol' wasn't her only mission made possible, while 'X-Men's Cyclops, shoots straight as James Marsden swaps the red eyes for a Navy crew cut.

Still it's Bill Paxton's return to screens that really light ups the silver linings of this cinema hit. The all-round nice guy plays it redneck bad and convincingly cold in what's truly this movies greatest threat and hit. Out for blood and his money you won't want to play any games with this man...especially russian roulette. He may only have one gun, but boy does he do a lot with it. Taking a spin and a gamble Paxton gives us his bold and best in much the next time you see him ill in 'Apollo 13' you wont feel sorry for him when he complains that it hurts when he pee's. Because here he gives everyone the runs for his money. Still he's a villain worthy of our two great heroes that take the basic formula of '2 Guns' with their chemistry and make it a potent mix of action physics and buddy-cop bond. The charisma here from the two leads in this old-school movie shows the new generation how it's done. "You fight for the guy thats fighting next to you", and that's how W and W, Wahlberg and Washington get ahead in this 'Expendable' action age. '3 Guns' anyone? Let's spin the barrell again. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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