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2 GUNS

Lensing in New Mexico
The company spent more than two weeks shooting exteriors throughout New Mexico. Outside of Santa Fe, the High Plains vistas of Lamy and La Bajada provided mythic backdrops for the double-crossing, double-crossed heroes, as they struggle to make sense of the massive pile of heist cash in the back of Bobby's Bronco, and then face off with one another when identities are revealed.

This region also established the setting for an illadvised call to naval headquarters, when Stig realizes he's been set up by his bosses. It also served as the backdrop for Bobby when he staggers through an unforgiving Texas desert and hijacks an ATV from a couple of stunned rednecks -- played by JASON KIRKPATRICK and TONY SANFORD -- in "Freedom Ranger" jackets. Sums Kormakur: "I wanted to have the scope and the vision of the desert, and that's what I fought for." Emmett appreciates his director's eye: "There's a tone and authenticity that comes from a location such as New Mexico. I liked setting a contemporary action movie in this type of setting."

At the Oxbow Overlook of the Rio Chama, which doubled for the Rio Grande, Papi Greco's coyotes herd Bobby and Stig, along with a group of immigrants, across the ragged Mexico outback. With only 24 hours to deliver the heist money to the drug lord, Bobby and Stig are in a race against the clock to rescue Deb. Washington recalls the exhausting filming sequence: "For the Rio Grande scene, we shot in this semidry lake bed to get the Western feeling and broad landscapes that Balt wanted. I'm a good swimmer, so it wasn't that big of a deal. The water wasn't that deep, but the current was strong and it would sweep you down river pretty quickly. Fortunately, the stuntman I was playing opposite was also a good swimmer." He pauses and laughs. "Swimming a bit, walking across the desert, shooting some bad guys and wearing gold teeth: all in a day's work."

Albuquerque's overpass at Lead Avenue and Broadway Boulevard was the perfect place to play out the colossal traffic jam one often finds at a Mexico- Texas border crossing. Framed by a steady stream of extras playing day laborers crossing on foot, Bobby and Stig sit in an idling car in dead-stop traffic. But when their purposefully flimsy explanation for their southof- the-border travel provokes a swarm of Kevlar-clad customs agents with itchy trigger fingers, our boys are hauled into the arms of the DEA.

Kormakur pushed for authenticity in the Mexico settings, so Mickle and New Mexico location manager REBECCA PUCK STAIR spent weeks searching for Papi Greco's ranch, a private kingdom nestled high in northern Mexico's desert plains. Although it was more than an hour's drive southeast of Albuquerque, it was very much worth it. "At the end of this long driveway sat a stunning house that hit all the right notes," Mickle recalls. "It had perfectly whitewashed stone walls, wrought-iron accents and nothing but blue sky and beautiful, tan sand as far as the eye could see."

Off to the side of the ranch is a circular driveway, where Bobby skids to a stop in a '63 Impala convertible for a three-way, heavily armed standoff. Beyond that driveway is a long house where ranch hands were slinging dominoes. It is at this ranch, in the barbecue scene at the beginning of the film, where Bobby and Stig's cover begins to unravel.

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