Thursday, February 9, 2012

Upcoming Release Review: This Means War (McG, 2012)

This Means War is distributed through 20th Century Fox and has a scheduled release in Australian cinemas on February 14.

This Means War, distributed through 20th Century Fox, is the new film from McG (Charlie's Angels, Terminator: Salvation), written by Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg. Two CIA operatives, inseparable partners and best friends, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine), are grounded to desk work following a botched covert operation and soon discover that they have both started dating the same woman. That woman is Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon), an unlucky-in-love workaholic who is convinced by her sex-crazed best friend to try online dating, where she agrees to meet Tuck. Things go well on their first date, until she runs into FDR later in the night at a video store, setting in motion a series of elaborate schemes between the pair (who have agreed on some battle grounds), which ultimately effects both their professional and personal lives. With neither one letting up, they decide to employ their incomparable skills and an endless array of high-tech gadgetry to one-up the other – while trying to keep their friendship a secret from their indifferent and emotionally torn target.


The premise fueling This Means War is undeniably ridiculous, and there are some stupefying moments littered throughout McG’s film, but in the end, this isn’t a film trying to provide audiences with anything deep and meaningful, simply to exist as nothing more than light, fun, brainless Friday night entertainment – and because it has a scheduled release on Valentine’s Day – a great date movie. The attractive cast will draw a lot of people to the cinema, and a lot of people will be satisfyingly entertained, and I can certainly see why. For that reason, I think this film scrapes through with a pass. 

This Means War is not a good film. The action sequences aren’t particularly exciting and considering that they are a pair of Federal Agents, their case (tracking down Til Schweiger’s generic ‘villain’) has almost no bearing on the story until he conveniently turns up at the end. All of their time and resources has been spent surveying Lauren and each other. There also seems to be no concept of time in this film, because at one point Lauren decides that she will decide which guy she likes better within a week. Well, a significant time later in the film, after countless elaborate dates, this week she mentions still doesn’t seem to have elapsed. Considering that these guys are also meant to be busy at work you wonder how they find the time to fit everything in. Incredibly, Tuck’s first date is a trip to a fun-fair, which culminates in a gymnastics routine in an empty circus tent, while FDR tracks down a gallery full of work by Lauren’s favourite artist and even adopts a dog. Watching Tom Hardy take down a group of kids in a paintball match was pretty funny, however.



I think Chris Pine, who has this air of scumbag entitlement and carefree confidence, was well suited to the role. Actually, it required some of the arrogance he brought so effectively to Star Trek. Tom Hardy, on the other hand, shouldn't be suited to a film like this, but he manages to makes it work somehow. He has shown off his comedic chops in Bronson and Inception, but he has mostly made a name for himself by being a brooding tough guy. The pair have quite a good chemistry - and the film's success relies on this. Reese Witherspoon wasn't as annoying as usual, while Chelsea Handler, playing Lauren’s lewd and fast-talking friend, is intermittently funny, supplying Lauren with woeful dating advice throughout the film.

Due to the way that both men create elaborate schemes to win over this woman, it is never really clear that either of them has any feelings for her, but seemingly just desire to win her over for bragging rights. It becomes a competition, rather than a pursuit of love. Reese Witherspoon, advised to surrender herself to their attempts, is also playing a game – going against her conscience and using both of them for fun. Beneath the surface there is actually some very cruel manipulation, and the fact that Lauren chooses to decide through a sex tiebreaker is in pretty bad taste. It all comes down to the sex – and this is what ultimately also splits the friends apart.

The more one thinks into this film (below the surface humour and the stars’ allure), the more obvious the flaws are. This Means War is actually diabolically written and directed, but praise must go out to the lighting – and the special feature used to touch up the performers’ blue eyes. They all seem to sparkle. When you are in the cinema, you aren’t really caring about the film’s shortcoming and overall ludicrousness. The cast all seems to be having a good time and admittedly, there are some guilty laughs.



You don’t question why the three have enormous and beautiful apartments, you don’t question how Tuck and FDR manage to so easily use Federal resources for their own personal surveillance. Things just happen - Tuck’s apartment is flooded at one point, and the pair end up wrestling in a restaurant and completely destroy the place - and the consequences are never explained. I threw my hands up in the air when the climactic high-speed pursuit ends up on an undeveloped part of the highway. Seriously. It is all very predictable, and most viewers will guess whom Lauren chooses and how everything is resolved, a long way out.

But, as I said, this is popcorn entertainment, and in the end, it is not a bad way to spend 90 minutes - especially if you leave your brain at the door and don't expect to be intellectually stimulated. I'm going to assume most people will be drawn to this film because of the good looking cast, and well, Reese Witherspoon has long been the victim of some poor role choices, but Pine and especially Hardy (who is a big deal at the moment, and set to star in The Dark Knight Rises and John Hillcoat's highly anticipated new film later in the year) get through with their dignity still intact. As a viewer, you just might too.

My Rating: ★★1/2 (C)

58 comments:

  1. Extremely girly comment coming up-
    I need to watch this. I don't care how rubbish it is. I mean everything written here can be deduced from the trailer. I just need Chris Pine back in my life. I like Tom Hardy and all, but Pine's awesome. Kill Reese Witherspoon!

    Good review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, that's fair enough. It will be the cast (not the trailer) that draw people to this film, and I understand that. Both Pine and Hardy have a bit of fun.

      Delete
  2. I normally wouldn't watch movies like this (I'm not going to watch The Vow for example) but any Tom Hardy movie has now become a must watch for me. Actually looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't look forward to it too much. It is not a good film - but I have rated this as I have because I think it pulls of what it was trying to be fairly well.

      Delete
  3. I didn't even watch the whole trailer..It looked TERRIBLE. I have no idea why on earth Tom Hardy will do anything like THIS and Reese witherspoon seriously needs to choose her roles better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The trailer is terrible - and I thought the exact same thing. There were some guilty laughs though.

      Delete
  4. I do agree it is a date movie and it is perfect for Valentine's Day, I think it will do well in the box office! I'm more of a Hardy girl, especially in this movie, so I hope she chooses wisely- although they might decide neither should be with her and that their friendship is more important! I expect that....but then again, it's Hollywood, so who knows! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing unexpected happens at all - but I think it will do well at the box office (Reese is also a crowd-puller). Thanks Diana.

      Delete
  5. When I first saw the trailer at a theater, I booed at it. It just looks terrible. I love Tom Hardy but I won't see this. Chris Pine isn't much of an actor though I liked him in Star Trek and Reese Witherspoon doesn't do it for me. Plus, I fucking loathe Chelsea Handler and MCG fucking sucks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two fuckings in one sentence!!

      Delete
    2. McG is an awful director, and after the opening scene it seems like he is back to his old tricks. It gets better once the 'competition' starts. Chelsea Handler was actually funny (at times) - but you won't like this film, dude. Don't bother with it.

      Delete
  6. This just looks dumb. Sad for all parties involved although I might venture a rental down the road just for the hell of it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. Tis indeed a movie. You'll have a screening of this, right? You might enjoy it.

      Delete
  8. I like your description of Chris Pine... "air of scumbag entitlement and carefree confidence" that is so spot on! I know Hardy has comedic chops when I saw him in Rocknrolla, he's just so charismatic, too. But nah, I'll only rent this on a very slooow night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, having these two in the one film was good casting, because they play off one another really well. Hardy has this ability to be the most captivating person on screen...always...and he makes this role work, for the most part. Definitely rental.

      Delete
  9. If you want to know more about a casino sites, please visit our website.
    แทงบอลออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete
  10. เกมส์สล็อตออนไลน์ที่ดีที่สุด goldenslot สามารถเข้าไปร่วมสนุกกันได้ที่ ทางเข้า goldenslot

    ReplyDelete
  11. เว็บไซต์เดิมพันออนไลน์ ระดับชั้นนำของทวีปเอเชียเว็บสล็อตมาเเรงที่สุดในตอนนี้ สล็อตเว็บตรงฝาก-ถอนไม่มีขั้นต่ำ สมัครสล็อต วันนี้ลุ้นรับเครดิตฟรีทันที Luckywin98 เว็บที่รวบรวม สล็อตแตกง่ายสล็อต เล่นฟรีรับรองว่านักเดิมพันที่เป็นคอเกมสล็อตจะต้องถูกใจแน่นอน

    ReplyDelete
  12. มียูสเซอร์แล้ว สามารถเล่นได้เลย เว็บตรงไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์
    เล่นได้ทุกอย่าง มีให้เลือกเพียบ สล็อตpgแตกง่าย
    ไม่ต้องทำเทิร์นให้ยุ่งยาก

    ReplyDelete
  13. รวดเร็ว ด้วยระบบออโต้ ฝาก-ถอน ไม่มีขั้นต่ำ ไม่ต้องทำเทิร์น สล็อตแตกง่าย
    หลากหลายค่ายมีให้เลือกถึง17ค่ายดัง สล็อตjoker
    อยากบวกคลิ๊ก

    ReplyDelete
  14. การอัปเดตครั้งใหม่ที่มาพร้อมกับความมันส์ ครบวงจร กีฬา พนันบอล
    คาสิโน เกมสล็อต ฝาก-ถอนด้วยระบบอัตโนมัติ พร้อมบริการ 24 ชม

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again. 사설토토

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really realize what you are talking about! Please also consult with my site. We may have a hyperlink trade agreement between us 카지노

    ReplyDelete
  17. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the most important changes.

    Thanks for sharing! 파워볼

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. 온라인카지노

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent.. 카지노

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing this marvelous post. I m very pleased to read this article.
    카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  21. Such an amazing and helpful post. I really really love it.
    바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for sharing with us this important Content. I feel strongly about it and really enjoyed learning more about this topic.
    토토

    ReplyDelete
  23. Do you like the kind of articles related to casino api If someone asks, they'll say they like related articles like yours. I think the same thing. Related articles are you the best.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is the perfect post.안전놀이터 It helped me a lot. If you have time, I hope you come to my site and share your opinions. Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Canon IJ Network Tool is a toolkit software with the options to keep a check on most of your Canon printer network settings and adjust them according to your requirements. The Canon IJ Network tool will get you through the network settings uninterruptedly. Canon IJ Printer Utility is a complete software package meant to adjust and modify the configurations of your printer device as per the requirement.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Visit
    www.hp.com/go/wirelessprinting and open the door to the world of HP smart printing solutions. HP wireless printer is a versatile printing device that helps you print, scan, copy and fax your documents as per the requirement.
    Visit ij.start.canon | ij.start canon and find out the best way to download Canon printer drivers. Canon printers are ideal for every situation wherever you need a document, paper, or photo print or even if you wish to scan, fax, and do more ijstart.canon will make you learn how to set up a canon printer to get advanced printing features.

    ReplyDelete
  27. 메이저사이트January 4, 2022 at 7:11 PM

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch. 메이저사이트

    ReplyDelete
  28. 먹튀검증업체January 8, 2022 at 5:39 PM

    I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next. 먹튀검증업체

    ReplyDelete
  29. Really no matter if someone doesn't be aware of after that its up to other users that they will help, so here it takes place 스포츠토토사이트.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is the perfect post.메이저토토사이트 It helped me a lot. If you have time, I hope you come to my site and share your opinions. Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "In the wake of researching a piece of the blog articles on your site page, I truly like your procedure 토토사이트
    of adding to a blog. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will return soon.
    In case it's not all that aggregate bother, visit my site also and notice to me your point of view.
    "

    ReplyDelete
  32. Do you have experience with the best validators?
    Let me introduce myself to you.먹튀폴리스

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is really scientific stuff. Thanks for the good info,
    please give me feedback on my blog토토

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello, I will introduce you to the best online casino site.토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for the useful information. I know a really good park.
    I think it'd be great if we could meet together안전한놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  36. Looks like a really lucky day. The jackpot
    hit the webpage I'm going to introduce today.스포츠토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  37. nice to meet you. I got some really useful information.먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  38. I blog frequently and I genuinely thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too. Feel free to visit my website;
    야설

    ReplyDelete
  39. I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog! Feel free to visit my website;
    한국야동


    ReplyDelete
  40. Nice to be visiting your blog again. it has been months for me. Well this article that i’ve been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college. and it has same topic with your article. Thanks. great share. Feel free to visit my website; 국산야동

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ij start canon and find out the best way to download Canon printer drivers.
    Ij.start.cannon | Ij.start.canon | canon.com/ijsetup

    ReplyDelete
  42. It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people in this particular topic,
    but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    메이저사이트


    ReplyDelete
  43. First of all, thank you for your post. Your posts are neatly organized with the information I want, so there are plenty of resources to reference. I bookmark this site and will find your posts frequently in the future. Thanks again
    온라인경마
    경마사이트

    ReplyDelete
  44. whoah this weblog is excellent i really like reading your articles. 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  45. Stay up the good work! You know, many people are looking round for this info, you could aid them greatly. 토토

    ReplyDelete
  46. "I like to look at an article that makes individuals think. 토토사이트
    Besides, thank you for allowing me to remark!"

    ReplyDelete
  47. I’m thinking some of my readers might find a bit of this interesting. Do you mind if I post a clip from this and link back? Thanks 사설토토

    ReplyDelete