Mark Wahlberg, ‘2 Guns’, and his career choices

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September 4, 2013 by Hope W.

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns

While at the cinema recently, I caught the trailer of 2 Guns (an action movie starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg), and realised suddenly that I haven’t wanted to watch any of Mark Wahlberg’s movies in a very long time. In fact, the last movie which I really enjoyed him in was The Departed as the curse-spewing deputy, and that was in 2006. (And The Departed was good, but I still much prefer the subtlety and quiet suspense of Infernal Affairs, which it was remade from.) I did want to watch The Fighter, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

And it’s not because I don’t like Mark Wahlberg, because I do think he’s good-looking and a decent actor, but he just hasn’t been picking projects that interest me. I’m all for guy flicks and testosterone-driven movies — in fact, the next film of his that I am actually interested in watching is Transformers 4; but that’s just because I am a sucker for robots that turn into sleek cars, or sleek cars that turn into robots, which I mentioned before — but most of the movies he chooses are just too… testosterone-driven? (Pain & Gain.) Revenge-y and trite, and I have had it with all the one-man-against-the-world-to-protect-his-family/values/something trope of movies? (Shooter, Contraband, Broken City.) Nonsensical? (The Happening.) Horrible, over-stylised, pretentious a movie adaptation of a video game? (Max Payne.) I watched The Other Guys, because I thought it would be funny, but it wasn’t. And I did not watch Ted, because foul-mouthed humour for the sake of foul-mouthed humour isn’t my kind of comedy. (But who knows, I might change my mind about the last one, though not any time soon.)

I won’t be watching 2 Guns either, because: (a) really, what kind of title is 2 Guns? It sounds like some filler title that they decided to go with instead of naming the movie properly; (b) the plot about double-crossing undercover spies working as detective partners (and if that’s not the plot; well, that was the impression that I got from the trailer) doesn’t sound appealing too. In fact, the whole movie looks like a run-of-the-mill action showcase with tons of bullets flying and dangerous driving, starring actors that I like, but not love enough to want to shell out money and/or time for.

Maybe he should take less “manly” roles, and more critically acclaimed projects. Or choose projects with better plots? With better directors? I must say I am at a loss as to how he can make movies that interest me. Though I suppose that as long as his movies do well enough and there’s an audience out there for them, it doesn’t matter what I think about his choices. (And they are doing well, whatever I think about them. Ted made 10 times its budget of $50 million, while The Happening, despite being panned by critics, earned $163 million worldwide on a $48 million budget. 2 Guns has already made back its budget in the US, and it hasn’t fully opened in the rest of the world yet.) Which is unfortunate, because I really do wish he is an actor whose upcoming films I will get excited about, like Christian Bale, or Michael Fassbender, or Tom Hiddleston, because he has so much talent. But for now, his films and I are not meant to be.

(So you can judge for yourselves if you want to watch it.)


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