Screening Room – “2 Guns,” “The Smurfs 2”

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Kansas City, MO --
**2 GUNS (R)**

RUSS:

Two guns are better than one in the over-the-top shoot-‘em-up, “2 Guns.” Denzel Washington plays an undercover DEA agent and Mark Wahlberg plays an undercover Naval intelligence officer. These two go after one another, unaware of their true identities. They pull a bank heist together, crossing the Mexican mob and the CIA at the same time.

Nobody’s clean in this ultra-cynical movie that walks an uncomfortable line between dark, gratuitous violence and lighthearted comedy. Washington and Walberg make a great cinematic duo and their comic dialogue is the best thing about this movie. But the story, based on a comic book series, gets progressively absurd as it goes along. The presence of Wahlberg and Washington is enough to earn three Popcorn Bags for “2 Guns.”

Shawn says, "Both Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg deliver half-hearted performances in yet another by the numbers bi-racial buddy cop movie.”

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

**THE SMURFS 2 (PG)**

RUSS:

Critics may turn blue in the face complaining about the terrible script for “The Smurfs 2.” But if there were ever a critic-proof movie, this is it.

Neil Patrick Harris and his tiny elfin friends are back in this mix of computer generation and live action mayhem. The antics of Alvin and the Chipmunks seem downright sophisticated in comparison to the adventures of these Belgian mushroom dwellers. The screenplay is so lame that the on-screen characters have to laugh in order to give the audience a cue to when to laugh.

The production values are terrific and the cast members do the best they can, but the makers of “The Smurfs 2” have failed to learn the lesson that Pixar has taught us. You don’t have to pander or talk down to kids to make an entertaining family film.

Shawn says, "Nothing more than blue noise. For the very young or those who's threshold for entertainment is very low. But it's cute.”

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:

Famed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar returns with a light comedy called “I’m So Excited.” It concerns the antics of a gay and bisexual flight crew in a bawdy twist on disaster movies. “Ashley” is a drama about a bullied young woman starring the winner of “America’s Top Model,” Nicole Fox.

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Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

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