This Means War: "Don't Worry. If You're Going To Hell, I'll Just Come Pick You Up"

Director: McG
Writer:    Simon Kinberg
               Timothy Dowling
               Marcus Gautesen
Starring: Reese Witherspoon
               Tom Hardy
               Chris Pine
               Chelsea Handler
               Til Schweiger
               Angela Bassett
               Abigail Spencer
Rating:    ****

Release date: 02/03/12

I'm not gonna lie, I am a bit of a fan of the old RomCom, despite the fact that over the years they have been getting gradually worse and less original. Although I've spent the years feeling let down by a few too many un-funny films that depend on the big stars in the cast to sell tickets, I always try to keep an open mind when going into a movie I’ve never seen before.

Every genre of film has the potential to produce a decent movie, and sometimes they fail, and in this case I was expecting a bit of a fail. I’ve seen plenty of good movies with Reese Witherspoon in them, and I’ve been a fan of Tom Hardy since I saw him in Inception. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of movies with amazing actors and stars that turned out to be huge disappointments. So when I sat down to watch this film, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

This Means War is directed by McG and follows Lauren (Witherspoon) as she has to chose between two men, FDR (Pine) and Tucker (Hardy). The twist however, is that both men are CIA operatives and best friends, which is pretty awkward for Lauren, well it would be if they had told her. They decide to keep it secret and let her chose who is the right man for her, but of course they are more than willing to sabotage each others chances, it's spy vs spy.

In the end, I was actually super impressed by the movie. It is fast-paced, clever, and all in all a really fun film to watch, that perfect blend of action, comedy and romance make it an extremely enjoyable night at the movies. The friendship and partnership between Hardy and Pine is completely believable thanks to their spot-on chemistry, and Lauren's BFF Trish (Handler) turned out to be an incredible casting choice, making for a lot of great, saucy one-liners and tons of laughs. The story is well thought out, yet simple and straight-forward and thanks to the motivated characters and actions, it is a film with a little something for everyone.

Pine, someone I'm not that familiar with, really shines in this film. He has a knack for playing this conceited playboy while still remaining sweet and likable. He’s also a pretty competent action hero. In addition to his grace in fight choreography, one of my favourite things about Pine is his physical comedy.

I really was pleasantly surprised by Hardy, whom I’ve only seen in darker action roles before, but never in a romance or comedy. As it turns out, he has a great skill at being able to do all three. His performance as a recently divorced dad looking for a meaningful relationship and the respect of his son is believable and gains sympathy. A moment later, he’ll fight a group of five criminals at once with incredible, lethal skill.

Witherspoon does a decent job as the girl next door with trust issues, but unfortunately for her (and us) it’s a character moviegoers have seen a million times before. She’s out-shined by Pine, Hardy and Handler, who brings her quick and incredibly inappropriate wit to the table with hilarious results. That being said, I still (and always will) love Reese Witherspoon as an actress.

The plot doesn't really supply the audience with anything particularly new, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. It’s a cute concept, and it’s coupled with an actual CIA mission happening in the background of the war over the girl, which we all realise from the beginning will have to come to a "dramatic" conclusion by the end of the movie.

Nevertheless, the movie never claimed to be a serious spy thriller, and the action is never too dark to harm the movie’s light and comedic feel. This Means War is filled with bright colours and huge, beautiful sets and locations, making it a whole lot of fun to watch. The writing is quick and funny with just the right amount of gags and one-liners to keep us giggling, combined with fast action to keep us on our toes and interested throughout.

It isn't going to win Oscar's, it is not a cinematic masterpiece; but ti is funny, clever, exciting and extremely entertaining, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat, and I would happily watch it again.

This Means War has something for the men with action, women with romance and both with comedy. This is a fantastic date movie, thanks to it's perfect blend of the three, and if you are panning on going out on a date over the next couple of week, pick this film, because it is brilliant. Also, if you're not going on a date, see it as well...

This Means War - Trailer


  1. Nice review. All of these leads try their hardest, but the script just lets them down too much with terrible jokes and very ugly feeling underneath this premise. Check out my review when you get the chance.

  2. I was actually in two minds about whether this film was worth seeing, now I think I will check it out! Thanks James. Like you said, I saw Tom Hardy on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and he said he was excited to be doing a film that wasn't dark, where he didn't have to take himself too seriously. Very intrigued to see how that goes. He's such an incredible actor, I don't think his capacity to surprise us stops here!

  3. Indeed Lydia, he is extremely talented and I can't wait to see more of him...


Post a Comment