This Means War Movie Review – Really beautiful people making fun and making out with each other can be fun to watch, but This Means War takes it to such a ridiculous level that it’s almost insulting to watch.
It’s appealing to girls because you have two hot guys (one British!), and for guys because it’s an action bromance. This is a mindless date movie where macho oneupmanship is the funnest part to watch. So if you remember Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you might think it’s an odd sort of prequel. Spoilers ahead.
Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Tom Hardy (Warrior, Inception) are best buddy spy mates that are in the middle of a hot case with some international douchebag that did something wrong. They kill his brother in a botched sting operation and now he’s out for revenge. Got that? Because that subplot doesn’t pay off until the end of the movie.
Back in a spy base that resembles a secret lair from the animated G.I.Joe, they are grounded and decided it’s time to look for girls. Tuck (Hardy), who is separated from his wife but still hangs with his kid, decides he’s ready to get back into the dating scene using online methods. This is scoffed at by FDR (Pine) who is a club rat ladies man with a pool ceiling in his apartment. Meanwhile, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is a single career woman who embarrassingly runs into a former love who has a perfect fiancee. When Trish (Chelsea Handler) puts up a sleazy online profile for her, she’s pushed into the online dating world, and she meets up with Tuck. Shortly after their date, she meets FDR in a video store. Although rejected, he finds a way to go out with her, and thus starts a love triangle. Where the movie gets interesting is when the boys find out that they are wooing the same lady. They say it won’t affect their friendship, and have a gentlemen’s agreement to not sleep with her, but slowly begin taking measures to outdo the other beau. The most fun of the movie is watching the measures these eavesdropping jerks will go to not only to impress Lauren, but also to sabotage their opponent.
The competition gets a little creepy and intrusive, as the boys put cameras and mics in Lauren’s apartment. On the dates trying to impress her, Tuck paint bombs a bunch of kids to appear more macho. FDR, being fed facts through an earpiece, spouts art history knowledge to win Lauren’s heart. Not only does she buy it all, but when the inevitable reveal of their intentions gets the best of them, she lets it go a little too easily.
Pine and Hardy’s chemistry should drive the movie, but they’re too shiny and wooden to really stand out. Reese Witherspoon gets to show off some nice curves, but unfortunately the script doesn’t allow her to show her comedic chops. The real scene stealer is Handler, who has all the best lines bluntly advising her friend what she should do, but ends up being more annoying because she’s just there for the punchlines. It’s like Reese was told to look pretty, and Chelsea was told to act funny. Again, it’s a little too easy.
Overall, Director McG (Charlie’s Angels) brings a candy coated slickness to this date worthy movie, but don’t expect to add this to your DVD collection of buddy cop, spy, romantic comedy, or action movies. It’s such a hodge-podge of everything that it gets muddy in the middle and what’s left is like a microwaved stale cookie: there was something good in there somewhere.
2 out of 5 sour hearts.