Movie Review: This Means War

I went into This Means War expecting something a little different, I don’t usually allow actors in a film to sway my interest, but this time was special, this time that actor was Tom Hardy. Hardy as of late has made some great decisions career wise, there was Bronson, followed by Inception and then Warrior. The guy was on a hot streak and ready for that big box office leading role. Well Hardy got the part, but not even his monumental acting skills could save a film like This Means War.

This isn’t the first time flashy music video Director McG (Charlie’s Angels) had pulled me in with such tactics; his last picture Terminator Salvation teased the same kind of hype. He even placed the mind-blowing Christian Bale (“He’s fucking Batman!”) in every fan boy’s dream role of John Connor. Even though I enjoyed Salvation it didn’t completely live up to my monstrous expectations, sadly though I can’t say the same for This Means War. A film that’s ad campaign teases a Mad Magazine’s Spy VS Spy plot yet, never lives up to its trailer.

This Means War focuses on two friends FDR Foster played by Chris Pine (Star Trek 2009) and Tuck (Tom Hardy). The two best friends are also special agents that just happen to fall in love with the same girl, at the same time, on the same day, you get the point. What makes This Means War different than say; Keeping the Faith, is that the two agents use everything in their means to prevent the other from getting close to the new woman of both their dreams. On the estrogen side of things, Lauren played by Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) must decide which one of these unbelievable heart throbs she wants to continue dating. It’s so hard out there for girls like Lauren and Kristen Stewart!

Lauren seemingly has it all, but besides good looks the audience is never shown anything that sets Lauren apart. Sure FDR and Tuck are placed in a spot light of male perfection; there is never any doubt why Lauren can’t decide between the two heart throbs. In fact every time Tom Hardy came on the screen I could hear the woman behind me almost reach orgasm. This is in no way Witherspoon’s fault; I just can’t imagine there was much of Lauren in the script. I hate to admit it, but I need more than lace and a killer hot body to make care about a character and with Lauren that’s all we’re offered. Most of Lauren’s character development could in all fairness have been left on the cutting room floor. Never have I seen a film that was so obviously dissected, there was even one point that I thought the projector had burnt out because of a prolonged fade to black transition.

I’ll come out of my dark critical troll cave for a moment to say that parts of the film are enjoyable and it’s not a total disaster. It has some amusing, yet at times eye-rolling, action scenes and the comedy offered up by Chelsea Handler (Trish) is almost worth the price of admission. What you have to ask your self is; “Am I looking for something more out of my chick porn?” If you’re looking for a movie that is interesting after a long make out session, then This Means War is the “more” you’ve been waiting for! If you’re looking for a film that causes conversion over a nice romantic dinner, then you may want to rent a movie, or just do what I do and impress her with a thoughtfully romantic film from your own collection. The Secretary always works from me, and if she’s into that movie you know she’s a keeper. You won’t even need a tactical team full of secret agents to figure it out.


I give This Means War 2 “pieces of chick porn” out of 5

By Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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