The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

THIS MEANS WAR (2012) ** ½

Chris Pine and Tom Hardy star as two secret agents who botch a big operation and get demoted back to desk jobs. Looking for love, Hardy goes on an online dating site and meets Reese Witherspoon. That same day, she bumps into Pine, and agrees to go on a date with him. When Tom and Chris find out they’re dating the same girl, they try to play it cool. Eventually, they begin competing for her affections by putting her under surveillance and tracking her every move.

This Means War has a very simple, almost one-note premise. In lesser hands, it could’ve really been a chore to sit through. However, Mc (Charlie’s Angels) G imbues the flick with a sense of style and fun. That’s not quite enough to make it completely work, but it definitely has its moments and is a great vehicle for Pine, who is quickly proving he can have a career outside of playing Captain Kirk. (Speaking of which, I thought it was kind of cool seeing him teamed up with Tom Hardy, since he played Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis.)

Basically what we have here is Spy vs. Spy remade as a Lifetime Movie. Sure, there are plenty of lame scenes, but there are also some genuine laughs too. It’s definitely better than the usual Rom-Com claptrap. While the more traditional Rom-Com scenes fall flat, McG handles most of the action sequences well enough (there’s a pretty funny paintball scene). However, the finale is weak and feels rushed and incomplete.

The chemistry between Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon is quite good and they have a couple of funny scenes together. Witherspoon has considerably less chemistry with Hardy though. He sort of seems out of his depth in this sort of movie, but you’ve got to at least give him credit for trying to branch out of the mega-intense roles he’s known for. It’s Chelsea Handler though who gets the most laughs as Witherspoon’s best friend. She probably deserves her own spin-off movie.

AKA: Target. AKA: Black and White.

Tags: action, comedy, t


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