Review: This Means War

— by ADAM DALE —

Friendship is useful in many ways, and it can come in handy when you’re dealing with life and death situations. FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are not only best friends; they are two of the CIA’s top field agents. Their knowledge of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, fears and quirks have helped them out of many tight spots. All of that familiarity goes out the window when they each meet Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a strong willed product tester that each wants to date. They decide to let her choose which of them is more suitable and they make an arrangement to stay out of each other’s way.

All of that quickly goes out of the window as each man starts sabotaging the others dates and using the governments spying resources to gather information about Lauren to use to their advantage. Catering each date to things she says she likes to do, eat and is looking for in the right man. Lauren’s best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) is of little help in her constant drunken stupor telling her to just sleep with both men and then decide. When winning the heart of Lauren becomes their greatest mission, anarchy breaks loose, friendship turns to rivalry and each decides that “This Means War!”

It’s pretty much safe to say at this point that Reese Witherspoon has a foothold in romantic comedies, but it is with the two leading men that director McG has the potential to make this film something special, and different. With Chris Pine we have an actor who has proven his comedic talent and then Tom Hardy –who I consider to be one of the most talented rising stars in Hollywood- who is known more for his dramatic and action filled roles. Can these two add the necessary ingredients to take this movie from familiar territory to something unique and fun?

The answer is sadly even Bane couldn’t lift this mediocre script to a higher level, with some fun action sequences and a good amount of combustible chemistry between our three main characters all acclaim goes out the window when every predictable scenario and line appears throughout the film. There are no surprises and honestly you get what you see in the trailers, a fun movie. For those looking for a little more substance to a movie sadly you won’t find it here.

I went into “This Means War” really liking all of the actors and excited for a movie that could be a genuinely fun film and it was, there just wasn’t anything else there to leave a lasting impression. One thing that I did enjoy was seeing Tom Hardy break loose and do a role that was genuine and funny. It was great to see him in something different. Chelsea Handler was her usual self, but subdued due to her comedy style and the fact this was a PG-13 movie. Chris Pines character FDR was the suave playboy who knew every bouncer at every nightclub in town and Tom Hardy’s Tuck is more reserved, shy and is more comfortable with a gun than he is a woman. It is fun to see the ways in which they spend millions in usage of government surveillance equipment and other tactics, but when the gags are over what is left is just the average romantic comedy.

McG has had commercial success in the nineties with music videos and films, but it is his understanding of music that he puts to good use in this movie. Knowing exactly when to play certain types of music to alter the mood and play on the audiences reactions to the music and the scene. In essence he did a successful job with making the movie, but without a decent script there is little to be done to help avoid failing into the same routine as similar films do.

Bottom line is that if you are excited for the movie when watching the various trailers for it then you may like the film as it gives you exactly what you expect. Could be good for a date night or girl’s night out, but offers little else to quench the appetite of the more advance movie-goer looking for something a bit more significant.

“This Means War” also stars Til Schweiger, Angela Bassett, Rosemary Harris, Abigail Spencer and Laura Vandervoort. It is rated PG-13 and is in theaters now.

. . .

“Like” It’s Just Movies on Facebook at

Comments are closed.