Critics Consensus: 2 Guns Shoots Wildly, But Its Stars Connect

Plus, The Smurfs 2 has critics singing the blues.

by Tim Ryan | Friday, Aug. 02 2013

This week at the movies, we've got heavily-armed undercover agents (2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) and hijinks-prone blue creatures (The Smurfs 2, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry). What do the critics have to say?

2 Guns

64%

It's an old truism that audiences are generally willing to forgive even the most absurd plot developments if they enjoy spending time with the stars. Such is the case with 2 Guns, which critics say is a largely mindless, ridiculously convoluted action flick that benefits immeasurably from the chemistry between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. An undercover DEA agent (Washington) robs a bank with the help of a man (Wahlberg) who's also undercover. But neither of them knows the other's real identity, leading to a series of double-crosses and perilous scrapes for our heroes. The pundits say 2 Guns is hardly the most original or cohesive crime picture in the world, but thanks to the tough wisecracks that Washington and Wahlberg fire at one another, you're likely to give the story a pass. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down co-star Bill Paxton's best-reviewed movies.)

The Smurfs 2

14%

Given that the reviews for the first Smurfs adventure were less than smurfy, it's little wonder that the critics feel essentially the same about The Smurfs 2; namely, that this blend of cheesy one-liners, slapstick gags, and general tomfoolery may delight small children but holds limited appeal to anyone else. This time out, Smurfette is kidnapped by Gargamel's newly-minted minions called Naughties, and Papa Smurf and the gang team up with human pal Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) to save her. The pundits say The Smurfs 2 strands its talented cast in an indifferently animated and plotted sequel that's even less inspired than its critically-derided predecessor. (Check out our video interviews with Smurfs 2 stars Harris and Hank Azaria.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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