I had heard various reviews of This Means War before I saw a screening of it, because it had screened a few times already in the metro Detroit area. Some people thought it was horrible, and others thought it was really cute. I found the movie to be uneven, hilarious at times and unfunny at others. Even so, This Means War is a good “fluff” movie, or one to save for a matinée.
FDR (Chris Pine, Unstoppable) and Tuck (Tom Hardy, Warrior) work together in the CIA. When the movie opens, they are at a party about to bust some bad guys. The mission goes awry, however, and one of the bad guys ends up dead; his brother, the CIA cautions, will want revenge on the two of them. Shortly afterward, Tuck, who is a father and divorcée, sees an ad for an online dating site, and he decides to sign up for it since he hasn’t dated much since his divorce. Lauren (Reese Witherspoon, Water for Elephants) has a friend who has sneakily signed her up for the site as well. Lauren is about to bail on the site, but then she sees Tuck’s profile and they decide to meet.
After her date with Tuck, Lauren wanders into a nearby video store around the corner and meets FDR, who is instantly attracted to Lauren but unaware she’s the girl Tuck just met for dinner. Lauren initially rebuffs FDR’s advances, but once he shows up at a grill demonstration she is hosting for her job, she finally agrees to go out with him. The result of all this is that Lauren finds herself dating two guys at the same time, both of whom she really likes, but she must eventually choose only one to be her boyfriend. What Lauren doesn’t know is that while she is trying to decide who to choose, both FDR and Tuck have CIA teams devoted to tracking her every move and learning about her personality.
Maybe see this movie. Reese, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy are as charming as ever in this film, and ladies will most likely want to see This Means War just for the eye candy. What’s funny about the movie is that the middle third of it has a lot of hilarious scenes in it; however, the first and the last third are just kind of “blah,” and didn’t make me laugh as much. I enjoyed the CIA/spy scenes more than the relationship ones, which probably isn’t a good sign, but it was pretty funny how both Pine and Hardy’s characters had entire CIA teams devoted to tracking Lauren and finding out her likes, dislikes, interests, and other parts of her personality. Chelsea Handler, too, has a supporting part as one of Lauren’s friends, who blithely tells her to date both guys – just so she can live vicariously through Lauren, since her character is married. This Means War is the type of movie that you probably won’t remember the day after you see it, but it’s good “popcorn fare” and guys will like the spy scenes just as much as women will like the relationship parts of the film.
This Means War is in theaters today, February 17, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 100 minutes.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5