ann hale reviews the action-filled rom com …
Normally, I write about horror movies. That is pretty much my genre, but every now and then I like to mix it up with a good comedy, romance or action film. Recently, I was sent tickets to see This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine, released on Valentine’s Day. Since the film is considered comedy, action and romance, and stars Reese Witherspoon, I figured: “Why not?”
To give you a quick synopsis of the film, Witherspoon plays Lauren, a girl desperate to fall in love after running into her ex-boyfriend and finding out that he is now engaged to be married. Her friend, played by Chelsea Handler, sets her up on an online dating service. This is where she meets Tuck, played by Tom Hardy. They go out for coffee, where she sees he is a nice guy. They seem to hit it off and then the date is over. Immediately after the date, Lauren goes to the video store to rent a video. When she reaches for the film she decides on, she touches hands with Foster, played by Chris Pine, who is reaching for the same video. She brushes off his advances and goes home. The next day, Foster goes to Lauren’s job and bugs her until she agrees to go out with him. He takes her to a club, where he tries to show off how cool he is, but she doesn’t go for it. As she turns to leave she, once again, runs into her ex and kisses Foster to make it look like shes in love. The kiss sets off the attraction to Foster. Now for the piece de resistance — Tuck and Foster not only both work for the CIA, but are also partners and best friends. Once they realize that they are both in love with the same girl, they decide to back off and let Lauren choose, but then proceed to spy on her and try to win her over.
First off, lets talk cliche. The plot is far from original. The whole two guys, one girl thing is played out. There is the obvious — Bella, Edward and Jacob love triangle in five films of Twilight. Keeping The Faith had two best friends, a rabbi (Ben Stiller) and a priest (Ed Norton), falling in love with the same girl (Jenna Elfman). I know, it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but, unlike This Means War, Keeping the Faith is actually worth seeing.
For being an action romance, the action is lame. I honestly feel for the boyfriends that are going to be forced to see this movie, as they will just be bored out of their minds. At the start of the film, Tuck and Foster, CIA agents, are sent out to capture Heinrich (Inglourious Basterds‘ Til Schweiger). In the process, they kill Heinrich’ brother, which pisses the dude off. Heinrich plays a tiny role in the entire film until the end when he suddenly shows up for revenge. There is this whole Dukes Of Hazard car flying through the air scene and, at one point, a car is sent flipping through the air right at Lauren who has to choose which direction to run in order to save herself, into nice guy Tuck’s arms or to Foster, the bad boy with the soft heart. Basically, I expect True Lies, and I’m given Law and Order.
Witherspoon’s character is just annoying. Normally, I pretty much adore her, but her cheesy and forced fake laughs make me want to slap her. Chris Pine, whom I have dubbed “forehead”, is awful at portraying the bad boy, leaving me to question whether he is a bad actor or if the script was that bad. Tom Hardy … well … he was pretty decent, but he choose to be in the movie, so I have to jeer him for that. The only good thing about the entire film was Chelsea Handler, who delivers typical Chelsea laughs now and again.
If you plan on seeing This Means War, I want you to ask yourself “How valuable is my time?” because you’re about to waste a solid hour and forty minutes. Plus, tickets now are like $10! To put this in perspective, for $10, you can get two DVDs out of the Walmart five dollar bin. For $10, you can get 10 Redbox movies. For $10, you can get a whole month of Netflix Instant. What $10 can’t buy is back that time you just wasted.
Rating: Eeasily 2 out of 5 stars