This Means War
20th Century Fox
May 22, 2012
97 minutes; PG-13
IMDb page; buy Blu-Ray & DVD; Amazon Instant Video
(starring Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine)
Two of the CIA's top operatives - and two best friends - battle it out when they discover they're dating the same girl.
It starts as fun and games between friends, but will it end that way? And is all really fair in love and war?
This Means War is definitely another rom-com. It's not a deep, meaningful love story that's going to move you to tears or inspire sonnets, but it's not trying to. What it will do is make you laugh out loud (on purpose), give you an hour and a half of sexy to look at, and a good story.
Where This Means War beats out other rom-coms for me is in the addition of the (albeit light) bromance between best friends and CIA agents FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy). Their friendship and its (de)evolution is as much a part of the story as the quest each of them is on to win Lauren (Reese Witherspoon).
As they bring out their spy best (or should I say worst) to beat out the other, crazy funniness ensues (all the more so as Lauren remains unaware). The blend of romantic comedy, some bromance and a sort of spy caper is what makes This Means War so much fun.
Sure, the ending felt predictable but everything in the middle wasn't. It didn't ruin having fun watching the movie, either - for me or anyone I watched it with (they didn't comment on the predictability, either).
IMDb (and other sites) are saying This Means War is comparable to The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth and Killers. While I saw the first two and did like them (haven't seen the third), this one had a different feel. I think it was that those were all, at their heart, one guy and one girl - no matter how antagonistic their relationship got. This Means War, meanwhile had the added element of the two male characters and their friendship; it was more complex. (And likely male viewer friendly.)
The filming and/or directing actually had more of a (higher budget, less oops involving) Chuck feel (maybe I need to watch more spy movies?).
The cast of this movie was great. Admittedly, I do really like Reese Witherspoon most times but I also didn't already like Chris Pine or Tom Hardy. I do now, though! (You've seen the clip where Lauren seems Huck's accent as a bad thing, right? How?!) Normally I don't like Chelsea Handler that much, but she was fantastic in this movie and I thought she was super funny.
Overall, This Means War is still a romantic comedy and so much fun if you enjoy those, but is also great fun if you're looking for one that's just a bit different - or one a guy might like a bit more.
A great start to summer movie I highly recommend buying or renting - it's out the 22nd!
*review based on promo DVD version of movie, thank you to Fox and Think Jam