Written by / 2/18/2012 / No comments / , , , , ,

THIS MEANS WAR

title: THIS MEANS WAR
year: 2012
cast: Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine
rating: ***

This movie might have the best, or perhaps worst, trailer ever made. Because in three minutes time you get the most important (and worthwhile) scenes involving two covert C.I.A. agents, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, outwitting each other to win over the same girl, Reese Witherspoon. Well there’s not much more than that – although some scenes are funnier than others. Like whenever either spy sabotages one another, both sharing the same character traits as Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristopherson in the 1977 comedy SEMI TOUGH, which borrows the same triangular premise. Here the spontaneous womanizer (Pine) acts sensitive while the nice guy (Hardy) proves he's gutsy, and it’s up to Witherspoon, with a consistently fervent expression, to decide. While expecting the viewer to embrace the characters before they’ve earned it, perhaps we've lived it all before – this being a very clich├ęd rom-com, including Witherspoon’s snarky best friend dishing bad advice that eventually makes sense. The action scenes are decent and, although shot in a glossy fashion (mirroring the director’s CHARLIE’S ANGELS), all the running around make the two male leads seem legitimate in their trade – underlined by a somewhat contrived subplot involving a maverick assassin. But the dynamic duo, partners who risk their lives together, have more camaraderie with the girl than they do each other. Which isn't so bad – since it’s her they’re after.
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