Genre: Action Comedy
Running Time: 109 mins.
Premise: When Bobby (Denzel Washington) and Stig (Mark Wahlberg) rob a bank to get back at a drug kingpin, they inadvertently set off a series of double and triple crosses, with the C.I.A., Navy, and drug cartel hot on their trail.
Behind-the-Scenes: Director Baltasar Kormakur previously worked with Wahlberg on last year's Contraband. The movie is based on a series of graphic novels by Boom! Studios.
The Good: Denzel and Wahlberg have expert chemistry as the mismatched partners, and have a lot of fun playing off each other and delivering the lines in the script. Their dynamic, and the movie in general, recalls some of the better late '80s and early '90s tough guy actioners, like The Last Boy Scout and True Romance. The story and its twists kept me entertained and interested, and stayed at least 1-2 steps ahead of me for most of its running time. Kormakur directs with a slick hand, and gets memorable villainous performances from Bill Paxton and Edward James Olmos. It's clever, funny, and stylish.
The Bad: The logical leaps and coincidences start to pile up by the end. Paula Patton is wasted in a supporting role, stuck playing the damsel-in-distress, and there aren't any other significant female characters. The violence is reckless and, at times, gratuitous, but I guess that's to be expected from this type of movie.
Should You See It?: Yes. This is the surprise of the summer for me. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. If you've been underwhelmed by all the trailers, give it a shot. I think they couldn't reveal too much because of all the plot twists.
Star Rating: **** out of 5 stars.
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