Monday 12 March 2012

Review: This Means War

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

This Means War poster

This Means War
120 mins / Dir. McG

FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are top flight CIA agents and best buddies, until Lauren (Witherspoon) walks into their lives and begins dating them both. What she thinks is her secret is anything but, and while she deliberates over which guy she wants, they set about proving their worthiness themselves...

The Good: Pine and Hardy are both on great form here mixing action and slapstick in a way that The Other Guys couldn't quite manage. Both leads come a bit unstuck when it comes to the obligatory sentimentality, but so does everyone else involved. Reese Witherspoon's performance, on the other hand, is largely by-the-numbers. It's not neccesarily her fault (her part's not written with the depth of Pine and Hardy's), but you get the impression that the role could just as easily have been played by Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl. And that's never a good sign.

That said, This Means War is a lot of fun. At its best, it's a well-handled, traditional farce; the likes of which are quite rare these days. For the most part, I found it quite charming. It's certainly better than it looks on paper, and puts last year's Johnny English rightfully to shame.

The Bad: The whole thing seems to go on for longer than it should, really. Given that the concept is explained pretty neatly in the two and a half minute trailer, we spend the first half hour of the film having this same setup explained to us in needlessly minute detail. Once it kicks into gear the pacing's back on track, but the climactic ending seems a little tacked on. Speaking of which...

The Ugly: Actually, the entire subplot about European gangster, Heinrich (Til Schweiger), seems tacked on. It's a solid start to the movie, but then it rears its unconvincing head every twenty minutes or so and distracts you from the rest of a very entertaining film. Then, to add insult to injury, it's wrapped up with so little conviction that it seems like 'the writers had run out of ideas by then and anyway it's Friday afternoon shall we go to the pub? Look there's a car chase and an explosion the end.'

Worth leaving the house for? For me? Sure. Highly enjoyable / instantly forgettable. Your mileage may vary.


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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