CAST: Reese Witherspoon (Lauren Scott), Cris Pine (FDR Foster), Tom Hardy (Tuck Henson), Till Schweiger (Heinrich), Chelsea Handler (Trish), Abegail Spenser (Katie), Angela Basset (Collins); DIRECTOR: McG; SCREENWRITER: Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg; PRODUCED BY: Simon Kinberg, James Lassiter, Robert Simonds, Will Smith; EDITOR: MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE: Action & Adventure, Romance, Comedy; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Russell Carpenter; LOCATION: Vancouver, Canada; RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes
Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 1.5
Cinema Rating: For viewers 18 years old and above
Elite CIA spies FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) mess up an attempt to capture international terrorist Heinrich (Til Schweiger) and are assigned desk jobs. Missing some action at Spy Central, Tuck decides to return to the dating scene. By signing up with an on-line agency, he gets a date with Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), a busy-busy career woman in her thirties. After their first great date Lauren accidentally bumps into FDR (Chris Pine) and soon FDR dates Lauren, too. One improbable day at the office Tuck and FDR who are the best of friends discover they're after the same woman. Disappointed at first, the two guys make a pact to keep Lauren unaware of their discovery and their being best friends. May the best man win, they say as they slam their laptop shut.
Considering the technical aspect of This means war, it’s as good as any movie goes that’s aimed to entertain and not to challenge viewers intellectually. It is billed as a romantic-comedy/action movie but comes out half-baked at each count. The romance aspect is snuffed out by the rivalry between the two guys—why break a friendship over a woman who is so self-absorbed she’s totally clueless about their The comedy side relies on hurting people which isn’t funny, and the action doesn’t excite as elite spies are supposed to do. If the story were based on real life we can’t help but say “What a silly love triangle!” Fortunately it’s but fiction and so we can dismiss the shallowness of the plot and the characters.
This means war redeems itself by trying to uphold fidelity (albeit to a pre-marital sex partner), being a good sport or loser, and familial reconciliation. It’s a good movie to see if only to tell your teenage children what to avoid in man-woman relationships.