Review : This Means War
Three stunning people fighting over which two of them get hot and sweaty together should not be a feelgood movie. That This Means War makes you actually like these three and also care what happens to them is its chief triumph – it’s impossible to come out of this film bitter and twisted, thanks largely to the immensely likeable cast.
This Means War is released on Friday but has been having preview screening since Valentine’s Day. Some reviews have not been kind but TW pulls off something quite impressive by bringing an action/romance which both women and men will enjoy. The problem with most films with this premise – two guys fight over a girl, she picks one, the end – is that the female lead is usually too perfect, too icy or just plain unpleasant. Everyone, but everyone loves Reece Witherspoon and so it’s easy to care about her and give her a mental high five for having Chris Pine and Tom Hardy fight over her affections.
Pine and Hardy play secret service agents who are inseparable best friends. Hardy notices the dating profile of Lauren Scott (Witherspoon) and takes her out. After their date she goes to the video store and meets Pine’s character Franklin, nicknamed FDR. Both men are smitten and both get to take her out. Tuck (Hardy) is charming and sweet and FDR is a provocative irritant with beautiful eyes and she decides to date them both and make a decision later, assisted by her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler).
Without Pine, Hardy and Witherspoon this film could have been truly terrible, however they pull it off because all three are adept in comedy, action and romance. Chris Pine is the lovable louche who comes round to the idea of a steady relationship rather than just a fling with the nearest available girl. Hardy is the earnest father of one who is looking to replace the relationship with his wife. Witherspoon is tremendously likeable and wobbles just enough with her moral dilemma to make us root for her. Handler is just plain filthy and some of her best lines were apparently cut to gain a 12a rating.
Tuck and FDR’s bromantic banter and James Bond style houses are just on the right side of ridiculous. Their attempts to outdo each other to win Lauren’s hand are genuinely funny and they are believable as both best friends and sworn enemies. This Means War won’t win any Oscars, but it will make you laugh, raise your pulse and leave you entertained.
This Means War is released nationwide in the UK on Friday March 2nd.