2 GUNS looks dumb. Like late summer, my mind has melted, synapses no longer work right dumb.
And thus, the perfect film to release the first weekend in August.
That is, of course, a wildly backhanded compliment, but I do still intend it as a compliment. I am under no illusions about the quality of said movie. I do not expect nominations and awards will rain down on top of it nor do I expect much by the way of complimentary reviews.
And yet, I find myself thinking, “Yeah, I’d watch that,” completely unironically. I’m not proud of this, but I’m also not too proud to admit it.
Of course, sometimes movies come along that confound your expectations. And UNSTOPPABLE is one of those movies.
I’m not sure why, given that I generally like Tony Scott and Denzel Washington and I like when they’ve worked together (MAN OF FIRE, DÉJÀ VU, TAKING OF PELHAM 123), but I had little to no confidence in UNSTOPPABLE being a worthy product. It, too, looked fairly dumb.
It was good. Not just “good for a late summer release” good (in part because it was released in November, but that’s besides the point), but a solid, good movie. You know the type; the kind articles ring their hands about Hollywood not making anymore.
Washington and Pine have strong chemistry, the supporting players (Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn, Kevin Corrigan, etc) make strong impressions with limited time, and Scott dispatches enough style (but not too much) to keep the action moving and the viewer involved in the story.
As a bonus, it spawned a genuinely amusing trailer parody on SNL.
Other times, movies live exactly up (or down, as the case may be) to your expectations. That’s CONTRABAND, the previous collaboration between actor Wahlberg and director Baltasar Kormakur, for you.
Wahlberg is enjoyable, using his charisma to good effect and Kormakur’s direction is plenty interesting. The story, though, is bland and the action can’t overwhelm the sheer beigeness of it.
Only recommended for sick days in bed. Otherwise, you can afford to skip it.