‘This Means War’ Review

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Release Date: 2/14/2012

Two CIA operatives – who are also best friends – coincidentally start dating the same girl and so wage an epic battle against one another to see whom she’ll pick. The premise is somewhat ridiculous in this action-comedy starring Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, and Reese Witherspoon. The action part of the film is jumbled and it’s difficult to see what’s really happening, but the comedy is great, as is the chemistry between the three leads.

Hardy plays Tuck, the sweet, caring guy who wants to fall in love. He’s divorced from his hot wife and has a young son. The reason behind his divorce is vague; he wasn’t honest with her but somehow they still have an amicable relationship. Pine is FDR Foster, a womanizing charmer who puts on a show for his dates. Witherspoon plays Lauren, a smart businesswoman who can’t seem to find the right guy. The way the three meet is unlikely, but it’s fun to watch all of them interact with each other. Witherspoon is cute and sweet and spunky, as usual. It’s fun to see Hardy and Pine in these roles, as they are usually serious, bad-ass characters (Hardy in Warrior; Pine in Star Trek). The extremes the guys go to is outrageous and most times, hysterical. It’s easy to fall in love with both guys, making it difficult for the viewer to decide whom Lauren should pick.

Adding to the hilarity of the movie is Chelsea Handler as Lauren’s friend, Trish. Wasn’t expecting her to be able to act but was pleasantly surprised at her comedic timing. The romantic, funny side of the movie is good; the action, serious side of the movie is completely forced and lame. There’s no real plot as far as that goes. It’s pointed out in the beginning and brought back at the end, but doesn’t make much sense. The fight scenes happen so fast and there’s so much going on in the scenes that the viewer doesn’t see much of anything.  When the movie ends, “Directed by McG” flashes bright and bold and loud across the screen. Seems a bit pretentious, especially since there are so many problems with the movie – and not even the plot – the editing. Really bad cuts, and at one point Pine’s lips are moving as he’s saying something else. It was the only time I saw it, but Wiseguy Pitstop noticed it quite a few more times. With such big names in this film, one would think the time would be taken to make it better.McG, who has directed Terminator Salvation, We Are Marshall, and Charlie’s Angels, has received a lot of crap for his name, but he defends himself. “It’s fun to hate a guy called McG. In my humble opinion it’s sheer fucking lunacy because it’s just short for McGinty. My name is Joseph McGinty Nichol. My mother’s maiden name is McGinty. I was called McG since the day I was born. There’s no Hollywood, ‘I think I’ll give myself a nickname’ bullshit. It just is. And at some point I would be a sell-out punk if I rolled over and said, ‘Well, call me Joe.’ I can only sigh and move forward.” Maybe if the movie was better people wouldn’t give you so much crap, McG.It’s Oscar season, so all the must-see films have been serious and dramatic. Great films, of course, but every once in a while a good chick flick is needed. This Means War is just that – laugh-out-loud, cute, sexy, non-thinking entertainment. A guilty pleasure, sure. A movie I want to see again? Definitely.

IMDB: 5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Movie Wiseguys 7/10

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