Mark Wahlberg outguns his rivals in TriStar Pictures’ “2 Guns,” in which he stars as Navy Petty Officer Michael “Stig” Stigman, a fast-talking sharpshooter who is as awkwardly charming as he is cunning.
In the film, Stig has served the Navy honourably for more than a decade. But when he does six months in the brig after attacking a military police officer, Stig is drafted into one of the Navy’s shadier ops and officially considered AWOL. He can maneuver in the dark, and he’s now dispensable if he decides to go off the Navy’s playbook.
The actor describes what drew him to the role: “The story goes back to those great buddy action comedies that I’ve always been a huge fan of. Stig’s that guy who just goes on impulse. Going into the bank heist, he and fellow undercover agent, Bobby (Denzel Washington), both been playing each other; neither has been completely honest about who they are or their motivations. Even though he’s playing Bobby, and Bobby’s playing him, Stig’s still honest about how he feels. He’s up for a good time, but if he gets rubbed the wrong way, he can go dark pretty quick.”
Although their mission has them planning to steal approximately $3 million of drug kingpin Papi Greco’s cash when we are introduced to the reluctant partners, Stig and Bobby get much more than they bargained for. When they open (read: blow up) the safety deposit boxes at Tres Cruces Savings & Loan, they discover more than $43 million—money that will most definitely be missed when they go on the run.
Wahlberg brings us up to speed with the moment when it all goes to hell with the agent and the operative: “After the heist is over, unfortunately it’s either Bobby or Stig, and Stig gets the upper hand. Stig doesn’t want to kill Bobby because he’s very fond of him, but he has a job to do. In the scuffle, Bobby’s DEA badge drops and Stig is upset—even though he’s been double-crossing Bobby—that Bobby had the nerve to double-cross him.”
Wahlberg was glad that the stars finally aligned for him and Denzel Washington to work together. Discussing Washington, he states: “We have great chemistry. We’ve known each other for a while, and this was the perfect piece of material for both of us to show a different side of ourselves. People would be very surprised to see how playful Denzel can be. I remember shooting our first scene, and every take I would do something completely different. He said, ‘Oh, I see what’s happening here,’ and he jumped right on board.” Wahlberg admits that he had a bit of an ulterior motive, and that was to get Washington to laugh. “There’s nothing better than seeing Denzel smile. Usually you get to see that once or twice in a movie; in this film, we see it a lot.”
From “Three Kings” to “Shooter,” Wahlberg has spent a good deal of time undergoing military-style training for his film career. “2 Guns” represents his latest effort, and he was up for the challenge. Wahlberg states that it was Stig’s commitment to his code that was most reflective of the military the performer has grown to know: “I had this mantra throughout the movie that I wrote on the front of my script, which was ‘duty, honor, loyalty and trust.’ Those things are very important to Stig; there isn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for his brothers, for his people.”
With this project and the upcoming epic “Lone Survivor,” Wahlberg shot two military-inspired films back to back. About his experience, he offers: “I went into Navy SEAL training immediately after shooting `2 Guns,’ and I’d been doing a lot of research into and reading about that world before this film. I’ve been lucky enough to have played military guys before, and I’ve had quite a bit of military training for other roles.”
Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 25, “2 Guns” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.