True to its name, the new action movie
The Times' Kenneth Turan writes, "This self-consciously nihilistic action movie is one slick piece of business as well as something of a double-edged sword." The film manages to be "briefly diverting" as director Baltasar Kormakur and his two stars "use style and attitude to put a different spin on traditional genre plot dynamics in a story of misplaced drug money and mistaken identity."
On the other hand, Turan says, the plot "is so tricky that events all but evaporate as soon as they happen. Though individual set pieces are well done, the film inevitably leaves an empty taste behind it once it's done." Things only get worse "when [the lead characters'] non-winning personalities and the film's exploitative attitude toward women and violence are added into the mix."
Ann Hornaday of the
Ty Burr of the
The Village Voice's Stephanie Zacharek opines, "The problem with so many current action movies, this one included, is that once you've seen one, you can't help feeling you've seen them all … '2 Guns,' with its hypercomplicated plot and semi-gritty, just-rolled-out-of-bed visuals, comes off as similar to 1,001 things we've already seen. The movie's pleasures, whatever they may be, stem from a kind of summer-diversion deja vu."
Not every critic finds the film's familiarity off-putting, however.