THIS MEANS WAR – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on March 16, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Simon Kinberg, James Lassiter, Robert Simonds, Will Smith
DIRECTOR – McG
WRITER – Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg (screenplay), Timothy Dowling (story) and Marcus Gautesen
CAST – Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine
MUSIC – Christophe Beck
This romantic comedy begins as an espionage thriller complete with spies, criminals and deadly missions. But after establishing the world of its protagonists the film quickly gets down to business by getting the love triangle in place. Freshly separated from his wife, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and a Casanova Frank aka ‘FDR‘(Chris Pine), best friends and federal agents both fall for the same girl (Lauren) Reese Witherspoon without her knowing it. She dates both of them unable to decide the one she wants to be with. Meanwhile, friendship turns into rivalry for Tuck and Frank who even after making gentlemen’s promises pull out all stops to win over Lauren. This includes everything from video taping her apartment to putting spies on her to putting up charades to impress her.
In between somewhere, the initial plot involving deadly criminals plays out without calling a lot of attention to it. Until in the end, when in true potboiler style the ‘villain’ kidnaps the girl to get to her lover (in this case ‘lovers’) and the girl makes her decision on the brink of death, a decision we almost know.
The end comes as a small surprise because it is almost a foregone conclusion who the girl is going to choose. There is little intrigue or sharpness in any of the events the duo stage to impress her or enough meat in the relationship she is developing with both. We get to know of her ‘inner confusion’ by mere talk with her best friend who for some strange reason keeps urging her to have sex with both of them to make up her mind. It is this same friend who also very feelingly claims in the end that she has never stirred Lauren wrong.
Yes, it is that kind of a film. Convenient, not very bright and more ‘talky’ than showing much and even when it does, underscoring it. What keeps us hooked is Chris Pine’s charisma, Tom Hardy’s presence and the chemistry of Witherspoon with the former. She plays her role as flaky as demanded of women in romantic comedies and has little to really do in this male-centric rom-com except look extremely pretty in a very well-chosen wardrobe.
The film has its shares of cutesy moments and even if not completely unique is warm enough to make one smile. Without any hard expectations of wit, charm and heart it works very well as a forgettable but enjoyable film watched once.