‘This Means War’ Movie Review
Many people will think that one of the “cool” things about This Means War was that none of the stars knew the actual ending to the film before its worldwide premiere. Although this may seem “cool,” it actually shows how terribly planned the movie was. If you don’t have a definite plan in mind, how can you possibly create a story that makes sense with two completely different scenarios? This is one major flaw in a movie full of them.
McG’s (Charlie’s Angels) newest movie is an action thriller involving two best friends fighting over one girl. The two friends, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine), are both spies in the CIA, while Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is a single technology consultant who stinks at dating. Without her knowledge, her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) sets up an online dating profile. The profile catches the eye of Tuck who is the hopeless romantic of the spy duo. FDR takes on the playboy stereotype, ignoring any notions of true love in favor of one night flings.
After Tuck and Lauren’s first date, she runs into FDR without either of them knowing their connection to Tuck. After the two eventually hit it off, Lauren is left dating two best friends without knowing they are aware of the other. On the other hand, both Tuck and FDR know the situation. They stupidly decide to “let the best man win.” The rest of the film shows them using their spy technology to peep on the other, while she tries to decide which one she loves more.
Somewhere in there, a bad guy named Heinrich (Til Schweiger) targets the duo who he feels should be held responsible for his brother’s death.
If the movie hasn’t lost you yet, I can keep going. The premise alone could work if the story went in a more serious direction. The comedy aspect made the story seem like a joke. Yes, I realize that it isn’t real life, but I need more from a story than complete nonsense.
The three main characters are where the story could’ve been saved, too. However, the characters are cheap, bland, and painfully inconsistent. Their inconsistencies is what drove me mad. The opening scene, a well-intentioned but poorly executed shootout, was meant to show us the brother-like best friend relationship. Their relationship is supposed to be the focal point of the movie. The problem, though, is that they try so hard to make us think they would die for each other, making their back-and-forthing over Lauren seem so ludicrous. How are we supposed to believe they are such great friends when they let one good-looking girl get in between them?
The sabotaging the guys do to each other actually delivers some decent scenes, but it’s too little too late. The damage has been done, and any progress is surely lost in the laughable (in a bad way) climax. Before going into the movie, I was looking forward to finding out who she picked (and why). However, by the end I was barely curious on who she chose, and I would’ve been completely okay with just looking it up on the Internet. It is certainly easier to root for one character over the other, but nobody really deserves anybody in this film.
This Means War originally got a Valentine’s Day release, making this review a little late to guide any decisions. However, I still wouldn’t consider this that good of a date movie. With a seriously flawed outlook on romance, This Means War has very little in the form of redeeming qualities, with Tom Hardy being merely the least hatable part of the film. The rest, unfortunately, makes it tough to take seriously or even enjoy.