<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by McG. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy.
Expecting less than very little from This Means War, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the film, laughing out loud and generally having a good time at a movie that is slick, funny and well acted.
When I saw the extended trailer of this film at a special press preview I was prepared to loathe it with every last ounce of my being. Silly premise of two CIA agents played by Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Tom Hardy (Inception and the next Dark Knight movie) using their government resources to win over the affections of a consumer products testing girl played by Reese Witherspoon. Tish-tosh. And I wasn’t even sure Reese fit in to this situation considering she isn’t the hot babe material these two hunks would probably fall for. Never judge a movie only by its trailer.
FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are best friends, brothers in arms and on the field and playboys of sorts. But their bromance is missing something: a girl. So, just like I recently did, they signed up on an online dating website. And as luck may have it, smart, sassy Lauren’s (Reese Witherspoon) friend Trish (Chelsea Handler, wonderful performance) signs her up too. Tuck meets Lauren, they hit it off and then minutes later FDR meets Lauren and they hit it off too. Well, sort of. The rest of the 95 minutes are devoted to how they try to win her over by using their spy gadgets and CIA flunkies to infiltrate her life and find out about her ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ so they can impress her. This part is hilarious.
Of course there’s the smaller plot line of catching an international gangster called Heinrich (Til Schweiger) but that’s interwoven deftly and subtly to form a critical plot point in the end.
There’s awesome chemistry between Chris Pine and Tom Hardy in this film. They are both great actors and extremely good-looking men to boot. The dialogue and lines and situations they get into could easily turn into slapstick drivel but director McG has handled it crisply so that you never feel it’s cheap or outrageously unbelievable. Reese Witherspoon lends that bit of credibility to the whole thing. She’s the healthy salad filling between the meaty sandwich of Pine and Hardy. McG and his cameraman have done an awesome job of shooting it all with slickness and precise editing.
While critics have lambasted the film, the audience just laughs out loud. And they have good reason. Come on critics, you can’t expect a film like this to be Oscar material. Or is it that critics are just biased against rom-coms? Well I’m giving it four stars because for its genre, it’s a great film!
Let me just say that I haven’t had this much fun at a rom-com since Friends With Benefits. I was laughing in the interval…