Reviews — 17 February 2012 » Written by
<i>This Means War</i> review

Take a little True Lies, mix in a dash of Mr. & Mrs Smith, add a touch of Ocean’s Eleven and then half-bake and you’ve got a mildly entertaining, romantic spy comedy – McG style.

This Means War stars Reese Witherspoon as the lucky lady being courted by two super cute spies.  Of course Reese’s character, Lauren, thinks she’s just dating two super cute guys.  Lauren is an executive at a consumer products research firm, who lately has had a run of bad luck or no luck in the romance department.  Her older, married friend, Trish (Chelsea Handler) decides to start an online dating profile for Lauren without her knowledge.

Actually, I think Trish and Lauren are peers, but Handler’s on and off-screen boozy, crude, live-it-up lifestyle, has always given her an over-the-hill countenance; which fortunately for Handler, plays into her humor and brand.

On the boys side – Tuck (Tom Hardy, Warrior, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and FDR (Chris Pine, Star Trek, Unstoppable) are CIA agents temporarily benched at desk jobs because of a messy, too public mission that’s worthy of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys.

Tuck decides he’s going to take advantage of the down time to try online dating and finds Lauren.  I won’t go into details on how or why she starts dating both Tuck and FDR.  Suffice it to say, once the guys find out they are seeing the same woman, the real action and comedy of the film heats up, as they try to outmaneuver and out-romance one another using the CIA’s best operatives, surveillance equipment and any other arsenals at their disposal.

Making a more fitting title for the movie:  All’s Fair in Love and War.

There’s a little something about the editing of maybe the first 40 minutes or so of the movie that feels disjointed, perhaps too many quick setups.  I hate seeing a fabulous actress like Angela Bassett be reduced to a bit part as the obligatory black authority figure.  Otherwise, This Means War is a fun, popcorn movie for both sexes.  Hardy and Pine are both sexy and loveable, although I didn’t really buy Pine as an agent.  Reese, is as always, adorably hot.  And I have no problems with the main thrust of the film –  a woman getting to choose between two eager suitors; albeit for me, there would have been no contest.

This Means War opens today in Philly-area theaters.

Official site.

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Le Anne Lindsay's Philadelphia-based blog, Tinsel & Tine features posts that alternate between Film Commentary, Film Festival Coverage, Interviews, Restaurant Reviews and Food Events, all from the perspective of a lover of good eating and good storytelling!

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