The plot is rather simple, Robert McCall(Denzel Washington) plays an ex-spy? Killer? Never really explained, all we know is that he’s out of the business and works at a fake Home Depot. Then one night he watches as a young prostitute(Chloe Moretz) get abused something goes off, he then goes on simply a killing spree, taking out every level of a Russian mob in Boston.
Where this film stands apart from most of the “ex-bad ass goes on a revenge binge” type film is that this movie is brutal. The violence is beyond over the top. McCall’s lack of empathy for the men he kills is interesting here but never looked into. They focus on him being slightly OCD, which again is just something to make his character stand out it never really becomes a part of the story. The movie is lightly based on a television show with the same title.
The film succeeds only in its action, the brutal R-rating is deserved and works. No CGI blood, this movie makes the violence very real. McCall weirdly barely uses guns and goes for books or tools to take out bad guys. Where the movie fails in not taking things a step further with the story. McCall is basically a quiet lunatic, I guess we’re suppose to believe he’s a nice guy who has an extreme on off switch but I never bought it. His brutality increases as the movie goes along and he seems very addicted to it. We spend most of the movie following McCall as he lays down his own balance of justice on, robbers, dirty cops, etc. None of which connect to the story. I thought they were going to use this for something greater but they never do. The film at no point tries to explain why almost all of a sudden McCall just goes on a vengeance binge. Somewhere in there was a very interesting movie, they decide to ignore and make it as generic as possible.
The third act of the film is so cliche riddled and so predictable, that it’s almost pointless to watch it. McCall also comes off as a quiet Superman. Nothing seems to hurt him and he seems to know what the villains are going to do several steps before they even think about doing it. Marton Czokas’ plays a very good Russian mobster. His character stands out in many ways, but by the end you know he is not a threat to McCall so the drama is gone. Nothing is a surprise, you’re just waiting for the next beat before the movie ends.
Antoine Fuqua is one of my favorite directors, he just makes good action movies. It felt like though the movie he wanted to make was held back here. It’s going on direction and then basically turns into Mr. and Mrs. Smith, by that I mean that it had something interesting going and then just decides to dumb it down and end it with a big shoot out in a department store. Kind of a let down.
Want to see a weird remake of Lethal Weapon?… I’m just kidding. 2 Guns follows Denzel Washington who is a DEA Agent working under cover. He teams up with Mark Wahlberg who is a Naval Intelligence Officer, also under cover. When they team up neither of them know this and rob a bank together. Problem is when they break into the vault they find way more cash than expected. They find out they were not just robbing a Mexican drug cartel leader, but the CIA, who are taking protection money from all the cartels so they would not be destroyed. So of course both men find themselves hunted by a lot of bad dudes, good thing they have each other, and over the top aiming skills since every gun shot they take is a head shot.
It’s nice to see an R-rated action film these days, studios seem to be scared to make anything not rated PG-13 or under. What makes this film work is the leads. They are both simply awesome together on screen. The best parts of this movie are when they are sitting together and having a back and forth. The only thing this movie needed was a little more in the action department. Many shoot outs end far too quickly and both men are simply too good at what they do.
The film has three main villains… Yes three main villains. Edward James Olmos plays a Mexican drug cartel leader and has a fun time doing it to. I loved seeing him on screen in this role. Bill Paxton shows up as a CIA enforcer, he doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but when he’s there he’s great. It would have been nice if Paxton’s character had more to do. Also James Marsden plays Wahlberg’s boss who is planning on stealing the CIA money too. So there is a lot going on been when it comes to taking the three guys out the movie does this in a very bland and unsatisfying way.
Still the movie is a lot of fun, if you’re a Paula Patton fan you HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE, just trust me on that. Denzel Washington is great here as he plays basically his character from “Training Day” if he was a straight up good guy. Wahlberg just has loads of fun in this movie and the guy just made me laugh.
I would love a sequel called “3 Guns” mainly because I simply loved watching these two play off each other. Just wish the script had a stronger ending. Even though there is a decent twist towards the end that I didn’t see coming the final action sequence just didn’t do it for me. But it was still fun and in the end that is what matters.
This film is very much the first clear film that is trying to mimic or simply ride the coat tales of the Bourne franchise. Tobin Frost(Denzel Washington) is a CIA traitor who has been on the run and hiding out for a decade. He pops up in South Africa, being hunted by some very nasty and highly armed gentlemen. So he allows himself to get captured at an American Embassy. Mean while we follow CIA rookie Matt Weston(Ryan Reynolds) who has a beautiful girl friend and a boring job where he simply man’s the phones at a quiet safe house(Yay the title!). That all changes when Frost is brought in and suddenly Weston finds himself in a storm of hurt.
New director Daniel Espinosa brings a real edgy movie here. The lead actors are strong and the gun fights are brutal in places. That is a real breath of fresh air. Problem is the film also feels like a slight carbon copy of every Bourne film so far. Bad ass spy? Check. Evil CIA? Check. Shaky cam? Double check! Quick cut action scenes? You bet… The main issue is the film doesn’t stop moving, not in a good way. The camera shakes over and over and it does get very distracting. Still the brutal gun fights are done well enough to make this movie stand out from most of the action films we’ve seen recently.
Biggest problem for this movie? It’s beyond predictable, you know who the villain is two minutes in, not because of the writing, because we’ve seen this story done a billion times over. The evil CIA thing is just getting old. Time to do something a little more fresh. What keeps this movie afloat frankly is Washington and a little bit Reynolds. Denzel obviously had fun playing Frost, a bad ass spy can’t be that hard to dive into. A lot more is asked of Reynolds and he really gives it everything he’s got. Problem is I’m not one hundred percent behind that he got it all right. He’s great in the action scenes, but still in many places he just doesn’t seem right in the role. When Reynolds and Washington bounce dialogue off each other it’s fun, and Denzel pushes thing along strong enough to make it work.
As an action film it works fine, we’ve seen this game before though. No real surprises here as things kind of move at a pace we’re used to. Still in the age of PG-13 and boring action films this one gets credit for me by actually putting action in the film. The gun fights are strong, just know that you’re seeing this for Denzel and don’t think you’ll be catching any ground breaking film.
It’s very rare that a film takes the top spot in the box office in its second week… Well not for Denzel Washington! Safe House took the top spot in a big surprise. Even more surprising is that people are really going to the movies recently. Safe House gained another $24 million to its total and could easily break the beloved $100 million mark. The Valentines Day hit The Vow dropped a bit as every couple who wanted to see that film did already, still that movie is a hit.
The Ghost Rider sequel didn’t start a fire at the box office but made a solid $22 million. It will be interesting to see if this film has any legs over the next two weeks until any larger films open. It must be noted the first Ghost Rider made $45 million in 2007 during its opening weekend. That movie was more of tent pole film though. This sequel went down a silly route, so I’m sure the studio wasn’t expecting huge returns.
Amazingly to me the MCG directed This Means War didn’t really catch with audiences. It has only made $17 million so far which surprises me. The adds I thought very much would attract average movie viewers. It’s no secret this film had issues though, rumor is the script and production kicked around for over a decade.
Only other news is The Secret World of Arrietty landed in ninth with almost $7 million. I find that as a good sign since the film was barely even advertised in the United States. Also Journey 2: The Mysterious Island has some solid legs and added another $20 million to its total, good for the Rock.
Here is the list…
1. Safe House $24 million
2. The Vow $23.6 million
3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of… $22 million
4. Journey 2… $20 million
5. This Means War $17.5 million
6. Star Wars: Episode 1 3D $7.8 million
7. Chronicle $7.5 million
8. The Woman in Black $6.6 million
9. The Secret World of Arrietty $6.4 million
10. The Grey $3 million