Charm: we know it when we see it, but it’s impossible to manufacture. Buddy-action-romcom ‘This Means War’ tries so hard to be charming that it’s initially unsettling, then sort of sweet, and finally just pathetic. Which, considering the combined charisma of its cast, is something of an achievement in itself.
Reese Witherspoon is Lauren, a kooky consumer researcher who inadvertently comes between CIA top guns Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine). Realising they’ve been pursuing the same woman, these erstwhile BFF’s are plunged into a war of romantic attrition with all the resources of the Agency’s LA field office at their disposal: surveillance gear, night-vision goggles, knockout pills, the lot.
There’s a decent knockabout comedy buried somewhere inside ‘This Means War’, but it’d take a lot of chipping away to find it. Take, for instance, comedian Chelsea Handler’s turn as Witherspoon’s obligatory loudmouthed, sexually overactive pal: what should be a mildly amusing secondary role is overwritten and horribly played, as Handler aims for fashionable ‘Knocked Up’-style bad taste and comes off like a cross between Joan Rivers and ‘Chubby’ Brown.
There are similar misfires littered throughout the movie: Witherspoon shoots for endearing and ends up simply odd, while Pine goes for smooth and winds up at seedy. Only Hardy emerges with any dignity, and that’s because he doesn’t do much. There are a few decent throwaway gags and director McG knows his way around a shiny action sequence, but ‘This Means War’ is yet another case of Hollywood execs trying way too hard to give the audience what they think it wants.
|Release date:||Friday March 2 2012|
Cast and crew
|Director:||McG Joseph McGinty Nichol|
Average User Rating
2.9 / 5
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The film looks pretty and is all very glitzy but at the heart of the film it is an empty vessel . I am reminded of the Robert Palmer song Addicted to Love "the lights are on but no ones home". I have seen this film so many times before from the stylised car chase to the cliffhanger on the freeway to the Eastern European bad guys.. It adds nothing new and yes there is a bit to much from the female friend. It is amusing in places and not without its charms. Its ok but not great. Two stars for me.
Agreed on the female "rock"....awful, and Hardy will hardly want to re visit this type of fluff again, but, mostly, hard week forgotten fodder delivered in slick, know what your gonna get style....last scene's "joke" jars though. 6/10