This Means War
'This Means War' Review
Once in a great while, there is a romantic comedy that is deep, thought provoking, and touching. Just be aware that ‘This Means War’ is not one of those. If you are looking for action scenes, humor, and sexy British accents, however, this movie has your name written all over it.
THE GOOD: The opening scene of this movie is a great attention getter, with Chris Pine (FDR) and Tom Hardy (Tuck) playing CIA agents who smoothly waltz into a party that looks like it was hosted by Ashton Kutcher, flirt with a few women, and then begin shooting bad guys. We soon learn that they have awakened the wrath of Heinrich—German supervillan (played by Til Schweiger) and that becomes the secondary plot of the film. However, the main entertainment value lies in the fact that FDR and Tuck have both fallen for the same woman: Lauren (portrayed by the adorable Reese Witherspoon). Being the best buddies that they are, they agree to play by a set of gentlemanly rules and let Lauren decide which one of them she prefers…but we all know men are simply not that mature, and so it comes as absolutely no surprise that the two of them use every undercover tactic possible to sabotage the other’s plans to woo fair lady. It was genuinely funny and frankly, I don’t laugh easily. You have to earn it from me and they certainly did. Reese is her usual delightfully cute person, and you can certainly see why she has trouble deciding which of these two charmers to choose. Personally, when there are British accents involved, it’s a no brainer for me….always go with the British guy. Tom Hardy could be a dead ringer for the elephant man, and I would still swoon over that voice and listening to him pronounce the word “privacy”. PRIV-ah-cee. Sigh.
THE BAD: Although I am aware that this movie is not getting a lot of praise from reviewers in general, it seems to me that the fault lies in people’s assumptions that all movies should be Oscar worthy, life changing moments in time. No, this movie will not likely win any awards, and I won’t go so far as to say it changed my life. But it made me laugh, several times in the space of 90 minutes, and I was entertained, which is the whole point of going to the movies in the first place. Sometimes that’s perfectly good enough. Throw in some buttered popcorn and a diet coke and I’m happy. If I can point to anything in this film that was less than desirable, it would be the fact that, for being rated PG-13, the sex scenes seemed ---highly charged. Speaking as a mother of two teenagers, with a third not far behind, I would SO not be okay with them watching a kitchen counter being utilized in that way----call me a prude if you must, but it’s my review so I call it as I see it.
THE UGLY: If you are a big Chelsea Handler fan, stop reading right here because you aren’t going to find my thoughts after this point to be of any value---that being said, here is my take on her role in this movie: UNNECCESSARY. I get that she is known for her raunchy humor, and kudos for being such a shining example of WHY---but seriously, the whole skanky friend part she played was just above and beyond gross. I actually read somewhere that they had to edit part of her dialogue out of the movie to keep it from being rated R. She’s like a young Joan Rivers….and I think it would not surprise you much if I told you that I’m not HER biggest fan either. On a positive note, she did have one line that was “un-cringe worthy” and gave her a moment of glory in my eyes: “Don’t go for the better guy—go for the guy who makes you better.” If only all her lines had been that appealing.
This movie has a “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” feel to it—not surprising, since it’s from the same writer---so if you enjoyed that one, this will probably be a hit to you as well. Not quite as smart and face paced, but then again, Brad Pitt doesn’t have a British accent, so it’s kind of a tie.
The Trophy Wife gives this movie 4 trophies.
‘This Means War’ has a running time of 97 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, some violence and action, and for language (F word used once, and Chelsea Handler makes regular appearances)