I have to admit that during the first 15 or so minutes of this movie, I found myself confused. This is a summer action movie, correct? Cat and mouse, cops and robbers, heroes and villains, yes? There’s supposed to be a bad guy posing as a good guy that you can spot a mile away, a car chase, a sex scene and a dozen or so explosions. What the heck is this movie doing with an honest-to-goodness plot? The nerve.

Suffice it to say that there are the guys you are rooting for, Stig (Mark Wahlberg) and Bobby (Denzel Washington), and a laundry list of people who are after them. You see, Stig and Bobby robbed a bank intending to grab a few million dollars of a drug kingpin’s ill-gotten gains. When the take turns out to be not $3 million, but $43 million--and not the drug dealer’s money at all--well, that’s when things take a turn.

In the wake of a string of painful summer action films, this one stands out. Granted, it didn’t take much. Nevertheless, the story is refreshing, if not original, and the acting is outstanding. My only complaint is Bill Paxton’s painfully stereotypical performance as the oily Earl. Washington and Wahlberg, however, are charismatic and wildly entertaining (I found myself actually hoping for a sequel.) It’s a 7.

More Arts & Entertainment articles.