Film Face-off: Denzel Washington's Gun vs. Mark Wahlberg's Gun

Film Face-off: Denzel Washington's Gun vs. Mark Wahlberg's Gun

Aug 06, 2013

Finally, a Hollywood executive had the guts to ask, "You know how movies only have one gun in them? What if we gave them two?" Thus, 2 Guns was born starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg... or so I heard. While on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Wahlberg said the two actors were friendly, and he had been trying to get Washington to work with him for years. Before I saw the film, I didn't think much about the concept of seeing a film starring this pair. After the film I thought, "Why did it take these two so long to work together?" There is great chemistry between them, which brings to mind the really good buddy-cop films like Lethal Weapon, opposed to the awful ones like Cop Out.

So, my first thought was to do a Film Face-off of Washington vs. Wahlberg. A battle of dubyas. I had categories like "Sports Movies," which would pit Invincible, The Basketball Diaries and maybe Pain & Gain versus Remember the Titans, He Got Game and kind of The Hurricane. It felt forced, though in my research I was surprised to learn Wahlberg's films have averaged more at the box office. Mainly, I want to keep hanging out with Robert 'Bobby' Trench (Washington) and Michael 'Stig' Stigman (Wahlberg). So, it's our first Film Face-off with character vs. character. That's right, it's One Gun (Bobby) vs. the Other Gun (Stig). Why is Washington first? He's older. And quit overanalyzing, that's my job. There are slight spoilers within this article.

 

The Style

Bobby (Denzel Washington)

Bobby wears a variety of straw and tweed fedoras. He has on button-down, short-sleeve shirts (untucked, of course). Normally he has a diamond earring in his left ear, and for flair he wears gold-capped covers on two teeth. Bobby also sports chin hair, which I just found out is called a "goat patch."

Stig (Mark Wahlberg)

Stig wears jeans, and sometimes a jean jacket. If he's wearing a hat, it's a Carhatt ball cap. Stig also sports a plaid, short-sleeve shirt with snaps. I think he wears cowboy boots, and is wearing some sort of necklace. At best, he has a hint of a shadow, otherwise Bobby is sans facial hair.

Winner: Bobby (Denzel Washington). Washington is now the leader of Team Goat Patch. In fact, he might be the only member. Bobby oozes style. The best thing about Stig's style is the short-sleeve snaps shirt, but only for entertainment purposes. If you ever go out drinking with your friends, and you notice one of the guys has snaps on his shirt instead of buttons, it is everyone's duty to see how many times you can "accidentally" rip apart his shirt, especially if he's hitting on someone. Bobby gets bonus points for putting on a naval chief petty officer (I think) uniform and making me think of how good Washington is in Crimson Tide.

 

The Job

Bobby (Denzel Washington)

Bobby is a DEA agent. His boss (Robert John Burke) is worried that he's in too deep and he might not be able to pull off his current undercover assignment. His coworker Deb (Paula Patton) seems to have his back. He's a loner and happy about it.

Stig (Mark Wahlberg)

Stig is a naval intelligence officer. His boss Quince (James Marsden) thinks he's the perfect man for his current undercover assignment of grabbing $3 million in drug money. He's a loner, but wants family and friends.

Winner: Bobby (Denzel Washington). Would you rather have a lead character in an action movie want to be a loner, or searching for someone to hang out with? I'm going with loner on this one. Someone who begrudgingly has to team up with another is always more interesting. Plus, we eventually realize Stig is underestimated a little more than Bobby. It mainly comes down to this though: would you rather burst into a room, showing your badge and saying, "DEA, put your weapons down!" or "I'm a naval intelligence officer, no I don't have a badge, you'll just have to trust me and do what I say... please."

 

Hanging with the Ladies

Bobby (Denzel Washington)

Bobby has one woman on his mind during 2 Guns and that's Deb. He has a few encounters with her in a motel. He doesn't talk about or flirt with anyone but her. He questions Stig's style of hitting on women.

Stig (Mark Wahlberg)

Stig likes to wink. He does it at waitresses, or really any lady he has his eye on. He doesn't talk about a woman who got away, or someone he is truly interested in. He shows respect to a young woman he's familiar with at a convenience store.

Winner: Stig (Mark Wahlberg). You might be thinking that Bobby should win this since he is actually seen in the film hooking up with Deb. Well, it turns out that's not that great of a thing. I'm not even talking about the fact that Patton hasn't impressed with Just Wright, Jumping the Broom or Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. When Bobby says, "I really meant to love you," he's winning. Later in the film, you realize he's losing. Stig calls Deb out on her daddy issues, and that's the least of Bobby's problems. Sure, a guy who winks isn't high on anyone's list, but when the winker is the charming, affable Stig, it's allowed.

 

Personality

Bobby (Denzel Washington)

Whatever you need, Bobby can find it for you. That's his reputation. He's like a suave Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) or free Red (Morgan Freeman). He's cool under pressure, occasionally funny, and someone you (or at least Stig) wants to impress.

Stig (Mark Wahlberg)

Stig is pretty funny. Sometimes he knows it, sometimes it's accidental. He loves it when things get out of control, and seems best suited for chaos. If we checked his DNA, we might find traces of Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson).

Winner: Stig (Mark Wahlberg). Stig made me laugh more. Trust me, this is very close. While it's great to see Washington doing his thing, I think Wahlberg showed me a character I hadn't seen from him before. Bobby's best comedic moment is when a man asks him where the money is, then points a gun at his manhood. Bobby says, "It ain't down there, I can guarantee you that." I missed some of Stig's lines because the audience was laughing at his previous one. Whether he's wrestling with Bobby, calling dibs on a bad guy, talking smack to henchmen, or begging a villain, "Just don't put your pissy hands on me," he's stealing the show. It's like Bobby is that hyper little brother you can't help but love. Even Bobby realizes this eventually. Did I mention Stig cups a fart?

 

Gun Stuff

Bobby (Denzel Washington)

Given a choice, Bobby would take a hand gun over a shot gun. He also gets a Smith & Wesson (Dirty Harry) for a portion of the film from some idiot, self-declared border patrolmen. He gets shot in the arm.

Stig (Mark Wahlberg)

Bobby has many different guns to choose from, including a sniper rifle. He's an amazing shot, with a group of chickens being on the losing end of that proof. He gets shot in the leg.

Winner: Bobby (Denzel Washington). This is another close one, and I almost called a tie here, but I decided I've used the "tie" a little too much lately. Stig brags more than Bobby, though he gets points for variety of guns. There's also a good moment when Stig shoots his gun next to the ear of someone (showing restraint) then knocking him down. Bobby has a better move. A bad guy comes around a corner, and Bobby grabs and unloads the gun while the guy is still holding it. That falls under the category of "new to me." Plus, Bobby gets revenge on a friend. For those who have seen it, I'm talking about the final scene of the film.

 

OVERALL WINNER: Bobby (Denzel Washington) beats Stig (Mark Wahlberg), 3-2. One gun beats the other gun. After all, if you've been deemed "the other gun" how can you win? So it's really my fault. But really, we're all winners for watching these two actors play off of each other in 2 Guns. They are both a little lucky that I didn't include a third gun in this discussion. Bill Paxton plays scene stealer as a mustache-wearing CIA agent named Earl. His rendition of red rover is fantastic, and his version of Russian roulette is cringe worthy. So far this summer, the best female duo is clearly The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It's a combination I want more of. Now, with 2 Guns I have my favorite male duo of the summer, and I'm hoping for 3 Guns, More Guns, or even 2 Guns 2 in their future.

Categories: Features, In Theaters
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