Sunday, March 11, 2012

This Means War

Year: 2012
Director: McG
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger, Angela Bassett

Plot: Two CIA agents fall for the same woman. Because they're best friends, they set some ground rules and play fair in order to see which one of them wins her over. But how long will that last?

Review: I'm honestly not a fan of the Charlie's Angels films, so I walked in to this McG film hoping to be entertained. And for the most part, I was.

McG directs this action comedy that sees two good looking guys, played by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy vying for the affection of Lauren Scott, played by Reese Witherspoon. Pine and Hardy happen to be CIA agents and partners, and best friends too. But yeah, don't expect the "all is fair in love and war" thing to apply here.

The fun is in watching the two guys do everything they can to sway Lauren's attention in their favor. Being CIA agents allow the two to get creative, which is where some suspension of disbelief is required. I mean, how do you use the CIA's resources to spy on someone outside of work and not get caught by your superiors? Despite the ridiculousness of this fact, it paves way for some reasonably hilarious moments.

Pine is basically channeling his Captain Kirk character here, but it works. Between the two, his character FDR (who the heck calls themselves FDR and expects others to call them that too?) is the more extroverted one, who is willing to lie and pretend in order to get Lauren's approval. Hardy on the other hand is the subtle Tuck, who isn't without his own brand of charm. He's more grounded due to him being divorced with a son, but isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with his best friend over a girl. Reese Witherspoon also deserves some credit as Lauren, who may seem like a tramp at first for dating two guys, but gradually grows on you because deep down she's simply indecisive. Chelsea Handler steals a few scenes as Lauren's best friend, who gives occasionally good and downright bad advice about dating. However the more she appears, the more it feels like she's there just to provide punchlines and not much else.

There's a subplot involving a criminal played by Til Schweiger who wants revenge on the two guys for a botched mission at the film's start, but it is just that, a subplot. If given more time, the film might gain a bit more weight and credibility, and Schweiger might not have been wasted here.

This Means War is funny and charming enough to be entertaining, but I do wish they added more action sequences. We all know McG can bring it, so he should have. A solid watch overall. (3.5/5)

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