This Means War


Reese Witherspoon plays Lauren, the objection of affection for two CIA agents played by Tom Hardy (Warrior, Inception) and Chris Pine (Star Trek, Unstoppable). This trio becomes a love triangle as the agents seek to impress Lauren and even use government resources to monitor her…and each other.

This “competition” between Tuck, a divorced father of one played by Hardy, and F.D.R., a free-spirited  bachelor played by Pine, predictably stresses their friendship, which Lauren does not know about.

The situations become the star in this 97 minute romp as the three appealing stars enhance this romantic comedy/thriller/action-adventure just by their presence. It would be hard to elevate the material with less talented stars who have great screen personas and incredible appeal.

The supporting characters follow familiar action movie formulas Til Schweiger (Three Musketeers) plays the bad guy Heinrich; Angela Bassett plays a CIA boss, and Chelsea Handler plays Lauren’s stereotypical best friend, Trish.

The framework aims to satisfy male and female audiences with action, romance and comedy, but rough editing patches, poor plot continuity and lack of truly hilarious moments diminish the intended effect. Opportunities created from the male competitiveness and Lauren’s tug-of-war in her heart provide adequate set-up, but the film needs better execution and more originality (a plot twist or two would have been great too). This acting trio can do so much more.

Directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol (a.k.a. McG), the special effects and chaotic action sequences have style, but need improved substance and emotional impact. The top-notch stuntwork and three lead stars garner a borderline recommendation (**1/2 out of four stars). Rated PG-13 for language, sexual references, action violence, and sexual content.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

This entry was posted in 2010s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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