* * ½
(Violent action comedy)
There are too many guns in this violent action comedy and too many confusing characters and plot twists to hold your interest. And that’s too bad, because Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg play off each other quite well.
Washington’s Bobby is a DEA agent chasing after Mexican drug lords, while Wahlberg’s Stig works for Naval Intelligence, trying to do the same thing. They are unknowingly thrown together in a convoluted plot, with neither trusting the other but having to depend on each other to survive. The patter between the two is often funny, but the humor gets lost in the writers’ attempts to be too cute and slick. The plot often makes little sense.
Edward James Olmos plays the Mexican drug lord, a far cry from his “Stand and Deliver” performance. Bill Paxton, who usually plays a nice guy, is as mean as can be as a government agent. And Paula Patton…well, we’re never quite sure who she is. Put them all together, add a Navy operative (James Marsden), and you get a lot of running around, gun fights, car chases, destruction of property, including a bank and a Navy base, in addition to killing half the population of Texas and Mexico. But that’s OK, they are all bad guys.
It all comes down to where $43 million, give or take a few hundred thousand, has been hidden and who is going to end up with it. The government operative code is “There is no code.” There’s not much of a movie here either.
Rated R with loads of violence, profanity and a bit of nudity.