This Means War scraps the age old macho motto of ‘Bro’s before Hoes‘ and turns it on it’s head and into a totally bonkers and quite likable disposable rom com. Franklin (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are best buds as well as fellow CIA Agents. Highly competitive in the field, thier relationship is fuelled on one-up-manship and bravado which is all well and good when they’re taking down evil empires and terrorists but everything goes to pot when they both fall for the same woman, Lauren (Witherspoon), and the latest enemy in their cross-hair’s is – each other.
Screenwriter Simon Kinberg who’s Mr & Mrs Smith brought together Brangelina on and off screen – takes that movie’s flirtive sparring and high tech Tex Avery violence and turns it into basically an arm wrestling match between two eternal Frat Boys for the heart of a woman but while watching this movie I suspected it’s more the competition that spurs these two men. All this highly kinetic romantic hi-jinx is orchestrated by much maligned auteur McG who’s dab hand at tremendously OTT and ineptly choreographed action scenes that make little sense and just barely cut together properly.
Yet despite the silliness of two CIA operatives misusing expensive military technology that was created to fight terrorism to violate a single woman’s privacy, and the agents ludicrously opulent life styles they manage to have on a government wage, the movie does have it’s charms. Pine exhibits all the comedic flair and roguish blue eyed smirk that made his turn as the young Captain Kirk in Star Trek such a breakout performance. Reese Witherspoon makes for a very likable and spunky rom com heroine and despite the fact that Tom Hardy’s laconic, po-faced acting style makes for an awkward comedian his Casanova skills are fun to watch and when the action moments kick in his physical prowess in the realm of fistcuffs and delight in having a good ol’ scrap is infectious.
All in all a fun bit of Valentines/Date Movie fluff that’ll serve as a perfect 97 minute interval for the night ahead.