Back when this appeared on the big-screen I was all jazzed up and ready to go see it. Then, as is always the case, turns out, I didn’t. Nonetheless when the DVD release came around, I did see This Means War. A cute albeit silly romantic-comedy.
This Means War (2012) Film Review
CIA spooks are subjected to rigorous training; they can handle almost anything… right? They’re skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Learn how to load and handle any weapon they may be asked to use, and are intelligent to boot. For FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy), the two are not only some of Langley’s finest but are best buddies. After blowing a covert mission, they’re benched, leading them to do a whole lot of nothing at their desks.
When it comes to relationships, the two are vastly different. FDR flirts constantly while Tuck wants the kind of love that is still true even after 50 years. While Tuck joins a dating app, FDR meets a girl his charm doesn’t work on. Turns out, it’s the same girl. Little do the friends know that the girl they are dating is the one girl neither can get out of their head.
Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is a consumer product tester. A week ago she was a pathetic 30-something woman without a man. Now she has two men vying for her attention. Is it possible to love two people, she wonders. Tuck is the more kind-hearted romantic; he makes Lauren feel safe and is easy to talk with – plus he has a British accent. Then there is FDR. Sparks fly between her and the arrogant FDR, but she’s not impressed. This sets into motion a spy vs. spy rivalry that may just get messy.
As an actress, I like Witherspoon – a great deal. I think she has a cute girl-next-door personality that usually works in her favor in each role. Unfortunately that doesn’t completely save her in this particular situation because she annoys us for playing two guys against each other (albeit, unknowingly). Many critics were disgusted with this high-tech action flick for the idea that a woman dates two men. (Admittedly this conjures up a lot of unpleasant connotations – and says to me that society still has some scruples.) Another is that two guys would fight over here. I don’t have as difficult a time with this for a couple of reasons. One being I don’t take this any more serious that I believe its script meant it to be.
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Since I’ve sufficiently given appropriate space to the potential cons and flaws in the film, I’ll just come out and admit this: I loved this movie. It’s classier than I pegged it as being and there is some restraint when I expect it not to be. Like its peers, this one puts a lot of baggage in the character’s backgrounds. I feel like the film takes the time it needs to be a fun spy movie (in a way that doesn’t take itself too seriously), and also gives in to what it really is; a cute romantic-comedy (even if it doesn’t drip with chemistry). If you can watch this through a perspective in which you don’t objectify it by all its shoddy qualities, then This Means War is a great deal of fun.
For anyone who isn’t a fan of the cliché love triangle, that is one element made very obvious. It’s an important part of the script, and even still, this provided me with what I needed; some hearty laughs. There are clarifying moments that make us momentarily proud of Hollywood for recognizing the sanctity of true love and marriage, but there is always something around the next corner that seems to shatter that beauty. Bottom line, will I see this again? You bet. This Means War is definitely a more-than-once title that combined all of my favorite genres.
What are some of your favorite Reese Witherspoon films?
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You can find This Means War digitally on Amazon VideoThis Means War (2012) – A Silly But Fun Action Romance. A film review of the Reese Witherspoon romcom. #Romance #ReeseWitherspoon #Movies #Comedy Click To Tweet
CONTENT: Lauren sleeps with both men [one scene shows her straddling him in nothing but her underwear and him in a state of undress – he is also lying in her bed the following morning]. Countless sexual references pepper the dialogue – including sexual references to the anatomy. Implications suggest CIA agents watch the security tapes of Lauren on her dates under orders to do so from both Tuck and FDR. Profanity includes one f-word, sh*t, a**, da*n, b*tch among others. There is plenty of immodest clothing and implications that FDR engages in multiple one-night stands. Opening the movie, one scene sees multiple men shot and killed [one falls off a skyscraper to his death]; one other scene climaxes in a car chase with gun fire and bullets flying. Characters drink alcohol. The film is PG13.