2 GUNS (NC16)
The story: Robert Trench (Denzel Washington) and Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) are two partners in crime with close ties to Mexican drug kingpin Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos).
Following a delivery to Greco, the pair decide to rob a bank where they know Greco has stored US$3 million in cash. When things go awry after the robbery, they find out that the other person is not who he appears to be. Based on the comic book series of the same name.
This is a big, loud, swaggering display of American paranoid machismo masquerading as a movie, the sort in which Mexicans are sinister thugs, women are untrustworthy and promiscuous, a quick trigger cures all problems, and no one but your best buddy has your back.
Like an order of fatty, over-sauced smoky ribs, this work has a slick, greasy appeal, if you can put up with the bloatedness and slight nausea afterwards.
Up-and-coming Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur worked with Wahlberg in the equally streamlined and fast-paced crime thriller Contraband (2012) and it is clear why the actor gets along with him: Kormakur knows how to make his male leads look cool.
Here, Wahlberg is a smooth-talking ladies' man, a master of subterfuge and weapons expert - like James Bond's hick American cousin.
Washington's Trench is similarly well-endowed in manly skills, except he is older and less hotheaded.
He dresses like a Cuban jazz musician but is really a maestro of criminal planning and manipulation.