This Means War (2012) – reviewed by George

As you watch this explosively noisy battle between two close friends in the CIA over a woman, you first feel it is meant for 13-year-olds. But as you watch (if you stick with it) you realize that this is explosively noisy entertainment for college-age young men. The difference being the woman, the very attractive Reese Witherspoon in charmingly undecided romantic mode.
There is humor, there is romance, and by heaven there is NOISE. Unfortunately, I did not find enough variety in the plans and doublecrosses. It really seems that the guys are competing with each other much more than they are competing for the girl.
The two men (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) are very good here, but they cannot overcome the emphases in the script. These are men who have worked together in the most trying and dangerous of circumstances, and they truly depend on each other. But they can just forget all that and sabotage each other in ever more humiliating ways?
The way I wanted it to work out was for Tuck (Hardy) to get Lauren (Witherspoon), but the billing (Witherspoon, Pine, Hardy) gives it away that FDR (Pine) will prevail. And to be sure that you know what to expect Tuck has an ex-wife Katie (Abigail Leigh Spencer of “Timeless”) who dumped him (so it wasn’t what Tuck wanted) and a son he loves very much.
A strong cast needs a strong villain and here it’s Heinrich (Til Schweiger), whose part in the super superior car chase at the end is super impressive. I said there’s humor, but I should make it clear that the humor comes mainly from the mayhem, and there is a lot of funny mayhem. The biggest laugh comes when Tuck takes Lauren to a paintball course. And there’s a really good minute-and-a-half single shot about 40 minutes in, where the guys are setting up surveillance in Lauren’s place, and in avoiding her as she cooks they also manage not to see each other.
Writing about it now, I realize that I liked the movie more than I thought!
Directed by McG, Screenplay by Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg.
Some other actors should be mentioned: Chelsea Handler plays Lauren’s best friend and Warren Christie plays her cheating ex.

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