I watched a Netflix film called Two Guns, starring Denzel Washington as Robert “Bobby” Beans and Michael “Stig” Stigman played by Mark Wahlberg. Both are supposedly on the side of the law, but both assume the other is a criminal. Both were undercover agents unaware that the other is a lawman (of sort). Beans is undercover agent for DEA and Stig is an undercover intelligence agent for the Navy Seals. Stigs’ boss tells him to kill Beans so that the Navy can use the money to fund unauthorized undercover operations.
In other words, the line between criminals and cops has been rubbed so thin it is extremely porous. The two cops/criminals decide to rob the bank where Mexican drug lord Manny “Papi” Greco stashed $3million, presumably to sting the other. But the two get much more than $3 million. They get an extra $43, 125,00. That extra money, in cash, is obviously ill-gotten gains. In fact they quickly realize that criminals will be pursuing them for the cash and likely won’t ask politely for the return of their money.
The criminals whose money was stolen are actually black-ops CIA operatives led by Earl whose money was stolen and who make even the Mexican cartel look like Sunday School children. Earl says he is “the hidden hand of God.” Sort of like Adam Smiths free market and about as benign. He will do what it takes to get his money back.
In the ensuing action they encounter a bevy of corrupt cops and corrupt criminals. In fact there are no good guys. None. Even the heroes Bobby and Stig are not that good either. I admit that he irreverent banter between the 2 is amusing, but we soon realize these guys aren’t really up to any good either. No one is.
Here is a conversation between Earl and the hapless bank manager who allowed the money to be stolen:
Earl: The United States is the greatest country in the world because we accept a man at his call: greedy, selfish, and covetous.
Bank Manger: I had no choice
Earl: In America we line everybody up so you are on your own. Grab all you can grab.
Bank Manager: I’m innocent.
Earl: Nobody’s innocent. There’s just the guilty, ignorant, or unlucky.
Stig tries weakly to convince Beans they should do the right thing with the money. After all there is a Code. Beans denies there is a Code. Like Earl you just do what it takes. The rest of the movie is designed to prove Beans was right. This is no country for good men.
There is no Code.