The action-comedy film "2 Guns" left "The Smurfs 2" sad and toppled "The Wolverine" on its first day on the big screen. The indie film from Universal pulled the trigger and took home the number one spot with $27.4 million in ticket sales. "2 Guns" is currently playing at 3,025 locations and has raked in an average of $3 million per day since its opening on the August 2. Lagging behind is "The Wolverine," which opened at $20.7 million on its first day. It also surpassed "The Smurfs 2," which debuted at the number three spot with $18.2 million.
The hit movie dives into the convoluted world of the US law enforcement and government agencies, and it stars bankable Hollywood actors Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. "2 Guns," based on the graphic novel by Steven Grand, is directed by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur. It is not the first time Wahlberg has worked with Korkamur, who also directed the 2012 action-thriller movie "Contraband," which included Wahlberg in the cast. Washington is no stranger to this genre; thrillers have been his bread and butter for most of his career, including award-winning films such as "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Inside Man," and "Safe House." Wahlberg's star, on the other hand, is still rising to its zenith. His portfolio of action-thriller films includes "The Departed" and "The Fighter."
"2 Guns" premiered in cinemas populated by superheroes, mutants, manmade wrecking machines, overly cute blue creatures and yellow minions. It isn't a big surprise then that this lighthearted action film has taken over the top spot at the box office, not with Washington, Hollywood's most bankable actor in 2012, at the helm, and Wahlberg, a former teenage delinquent and pop star, who has remade himself as a popular and reliable action star. Add to the mix the genius of Korkamur, known for turning low-budget projects into award-winning films, and the result is plenty of comical banter, noisy shootouts, explosions, and even a Mexican stand-off.
The story revolves around two undercover government agency officers, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) and NCIS agent Marcus Stigman (Wahlberg), and how they are dragged into the mayhem of bank robberies, crooked officials, drug lords, and a multimillion-dollar heist. Figuring out who's working for who gets a little complicated, but the movie settles everything nicely in its two-hour duration.
The plot of "2 Guns" could be called a cliché, as this action-comedy film delivers something that has been done on the big screen over and over again: bickering alpha males who turn into buddies and grow to trust each other after discovering they've been deceived by the higher ranks. However, this potential plot weakness has propelled the movie's fame, as moviegoers discover the remarkable chemistry between the leads. Washington and Wahlberg have undeniable chemistry and work surprisingly well together. Their characters' consistent banter is filled with sharp, witty, and hilarious dialogue, and their conflicting personae make the movie entertaining throughout its length.
The graphic-novel pedigree of the film could be a hit or miss with viewers, but it does make for wildly entertaining action scenes. The two guys are able to dodge bullets, survive car wrecks, and take repeated blows from iron bars. Its dynamism is reminiscent of the 1988 action-comedy flick "Midnight Run," as "2 Guns" also delivers a type of lunatic delight that is highly amusing, and it is also filled with a warm, delightful chemistry between the two male leads. In the midst of explosions and unexpected double crosses, some viewers may find the lack of an emotional trigger or suspense a bit of a disappointment, but there's also relief in knowing that both buddy cops have unblemished characters. The ending is also a giveaway; however, as far as the story is concerned, the climax isn't actually the point but rather the onscreen chemistry between the two enemy-turned-buddy-cops. Some moviegoers may only be watching "2 Guns" for Washington and Wahlberg; if so, they'll go home happy after getting a good laugh from these two remarkable actors.
"2 Guns'" combination of such high-profile actors is expected to deliver promising box-office returns until the end of its run. While Washington may not be as popular overseas, Wahlberg can help increase the international gross due to his popularity from well-known movies such as "Planet of the Apes," "The Perfect Storm," and "Ted." It also doesn't hurt that Washington has a huge roster of older, more laid-back fans who aren't interested in racing to see his movies on the opening day, which means there are still lots of people who will be queuing in cinemas for another weekend or two.