The title pretty much sums it up. It’s a pretty violent flick. But, it was pretty entertaining, too.
Denzel Washington plays Bobby, an undercover DEA agent trying to bring down a Mexican drug cartel, led by Edward James Olmos’s character Papi, with his partner, an undercover US Navy Intelligence officer, Stig, played by Mark Wahlberg.
The action and the plot is a little slow to start, taking its time over the first thirty or forty minutes, but once they get on the bad side of all the wrong people (the CIA, the cartel, and the Navy), Stig and Bobby start kicking ass and taking names.
Aside from the action, which includes a car chase, a bank robbery, a few explosions, and breaking into a Naval base, it’s a pretty funny movie too! The banter and chemistry between Wahlberg and Washington is awesome. Washington is a smart, cool, been-around-the-block kind of guy, and Wahlberg is a smartass, cocky ladykiller.
TBH: I used to hate Bill Paxton. I thought he was a bit of a tool, but he grew on me over time (Big Love can take most of the credit for that). And this movie is possibly his best role in years. He’s a hardass, and a damn good one. The thing that drove me nuts was that he was wearing a bolo tie with a straw fedora. It clashed. Half-cowboy, half-Miami detective. Not a good match. But the attitude more than made up for the distracting wardrobe choice.
And, double-bonus: James Marsden (X-Men, 27 Dresses, Enchanted, The Notebook, Ally McBeal) played the dick Navy guy running Wahlberg’s operation! (Not to be confused with the awesome British genius behind Spike on BtVS, James Marsters.) Sexy as ever, but slightly less so after we find out he’s one of the bad guys, he was awesome. He doesn’t often play the villain (and he’s not a full-on villain in this, either), but it was fun to see him in a role like this.
Not to mention, you should consider yourself lucky to be privy to watching Edward James Olmos in anything. There’s a reason the man’s won two Golden Globes and been nominated for an Oscar. Even in a half-cocked summer action flick–he can turn a secondary role as a bad guy into cinema gold. I’m not saying this role/film is worthy of any nominations come awards season, but if it were, that’s where the nom would go.
The best part had to be the ending, though. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was the perfect ending to wrap up the story, while still leaving room for a sequel.
I gotta hand it to them. This movie could have gone really wrong, but it was really entertaining, for what it was (a somewhat cheap, titillating action movie with a couple of good-looking superstars). Was it the best action movie I’ve seen all summer? No. Not even second best. Was it the best action/comedy of the summer? Possibly. I’m not sure it technically qualifies to fit into the comedy genre, but it was funny enough that I’m content to put it there and say it was that good.
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