At The Movies-2 Guns

Movie lives up to its billing

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2 Guns is billed as an action/comedy and it delivers on both counts. The producers rounded up a stellar cast of seasoned pros. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg headline the film. Backing them up in various ways are Bill Paxon, James Marsden, Fred Ward and Edward James Olmos.

Wahlberg has a habit of playing tough guys who have an admirable streak of honor and loyalty but limited intellect. In 2 Guns he stretches just a bit to portray the same traits, but also hints that he may not be as limited as he seems. But he is by no stretch in the same league brain wise as the tough, controlled and very cockily cool character played so well by Denzel Washington.

Paula Patton plays the girl. Her character is shamed, duplicitous, greedy, broken hearted and ultimately doomed. It wasn’t easy to squish all that drama into the small amount of screen time she is allowed, but Patton pulls it off handily.

Baltasar Kormakur directs from a script from first time writer Blake Masters. Kormakur also directed last year’s gritty crime saga Contraband, which also featured Mark Wahlberg, a very successful film.

Besides the lineup of name actors in just about every scene, the convoluted, twisty plot keeps us awake. We have the two main characters who are each undercover operatives for different agencies. They work against one another for the first part of the movie until the corruption of their superiors becomes clear. At one point they are being opposed, chased, and shot at by organized crime narcotraficanties, the CIA on a murderous vendetta and a gang of covetous Navy SEALS gone bad. This makes plenty of opportunities for gunfire and violence of all sorts. And the lover of the Washington character, another fallen agent, is also out to get her piece of $43 million that is the center of all the action. The plot is very busy and always manages to stay just on the believable side.

And the writing lets Washington and Wahlberg quip and joke their way through the film. They are not in any way overboard on this. In some of the more recent Sylvester Stallone films this kind of banter is done with a knowing wink wink to the viewers. Here it seems to be a natural-and funny-extension of the personalities of the characters.

2 Guns is a solid three saw blade experience. It is rated R for lots of violence, some language and some small skin issues. It runs one hour and 49 minutes.  The producers allowed director Kormakur $61 million to make the film. It has taken in $27 million in its opening weekend, which puts it at number one. Kormakur in his previous outing with Wahlberg managed to quadruple the producer’s investment. I think audiences will reward 2 Guns with at least a positive return.

Even in a less important film like this one, Denzel Washington is well worth watching.

Percy jackson: Sea of monsters

Better than the first

Anthony Tantimonaco

Teen reviewer

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (SOM) came in fourth at box office with $14.6 million, and that’s where it belongs. Percy Jackson: SOM follows Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Percy’s half-brother Tyson, on a quest to save their camp by retrieving the Golden Fleece.

Percy Jackson: SOM brings back a lot of the same actors from the first film: Brandon T. Jackson (Grover), Logan Lerman (Percy), and Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth). But the film also shows us some new actors such as Doughlas Smith (Tyson), Leven Rambin (Clarisse), and Stanley Tucci (Mr. D).

Percy Jackson: SOM also bring back the famous centaur Chiron, but replaces the actor. In The Lightning Thief, Chiron was played by Pierce Bronson. In The Sea of Monsters Chiron is played by Anthony Head. Why they changed the actors, I don’t know, but I am glad they did, Anthony Head is much better that Bronson in the way he portrays the character.

Most fans of the book might be wondering about how accurate the movie is to the book.

The director did the best he could to keep it accurate, but also to follow the events of the first Percy Jackson. Every now and then there are things that were in the book, but were either twisted or in a different place than the movie. A lot of what the director put in this movie totally messes up the story line from the book series and the attempted comedy is sad. The 3-D and special effects were better than the acting.

All in all it was a good movie, not the worst and not the best. I myself am a fan of the book series and was a little disappointed with it. I recommend if you fully want to enjoy Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, DO NOT read the book first.

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