Blu-ray Review This Means War
Directed by: McG Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Chelsea Handler Running Time: 1 hr 37 min Rating: PG-13 Due Out: May 22, 2012
PLOT: A pair of CIA agents/best friends (Hardy and Pine) go to great lengths to try to win the affection of the same woman (Witherspoon).
WHO'S IT FOR? Unless you think Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are the two most attractive men on the planet, consider yourself Reese Witherspoon's biggest fan, or love the comedic stylings of Chelsea Handler, you should steer clear of this one. Heck, I don't think it would be worth it even if one of those does describe you.
With poorly edited action, few laughs, and the presence of Chelsea Handler, this is a terrible film. It feels much longer than its mercifully short running time to the point where I feared I’d be stuck watching the tedious one-upmanship for eternity. And this isn’t a case of the movie simply not being for me. I genuinely like many romantic comedies! But they need to be romantic and funny, something This Means War fails to do.
The plot is idiotic, but there’s still a way to have fun with it. Instead, the script opts to be as lazy as possible, letting the film play out by repeating the same sequence of scenes over and over. FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) go out on separate dates with Lauren (Witherspoon). Lauren talks about them to Trish (Handler). They learn how better to woo her by listening in using CIA resources – something that is quite unsettling if given any thought. Repeat. I was never convinced Lauren would find FDR as appealing as Tuck, so I couldn’t be bothered to care about the outcome of their “game.” Tuck starts out sweet (other than agreeing to do the stupid spy vs. spy thing in the first place), whereas FDR is a cocky womanizer. But FDR is blessed with Pine’s stunning blue eyes, so I guess that balances things out in Lauren’s mind.
Witherspoon and Hardy fare best (I use that word loosely), as both actually get a couple moments to be charming. One of the better moments is when Hardy starts laughing about Pine’s T-Rex hands. Another minor highlight is when Witherspoon dances around her house while singing “This Is How We Do It,” all while Hardy and Pine stealthily run around her place. If the entire film operated on this low level of fun it would be an improvement. Instead, most of the “fun” is left to the grating Chelsea Handler. She spends most of her time making penis jokes and doing awkward sex scenes accompanied by “Me So Horny.” You know, comedy!
I barely mentioned the actual spy stuff, but that’s because the film hardly bothers with it. Through no fault of his own, Til Schweiger barely registers as Henrich, the film’s ostensible villain. Schweiger only pops up when McG remembers he’s not just making a bad rom-com, but is making a bad action rom-com. Never as exciting, funny or charming as it thinks it is, This Means War is easily among the very worst films I’ve seen in 2012.
MOVIE SCORE: 2/10
Extended Version Bachelorette Party Deleted Scenes Alternate Endings Uncensored Gag Reel Alternate Opening Concept Audio Commentary by Director McG (Extended Version) Theatrical Trailer Sneak Peek