Cinema Review – This Means War
Out this weekend in the UK is This Means War, but is this really the film we need to see BANE in? Or is it a comedy classic? Teri investigates…
I have very limited patience for films that look like Pepsi commercials. From the opening scene, I wasn’t even sure that the movie had started – it was bright, it was loud, it kind of looked like a Smallville episode sponsored by Blackberry, and I genuinely wasn’t sure that we’d left the advertisements reel. Highly saturated colours, whiter-than-white teeth and perfect hair, cheesy dialogue – check, check and check, This Mean War has all three, and it’s the full-fat variety that is just so typical from McG.
The story, which revolves around two best friends who are also co-workers in the CIA (which, by the way, looks alarmingly like an Apple store) who just happen to fall for the same unsuspecting woman on the same day, is contrived and problematic, not exactly held up well by its flat script and poor direction. Which is a crying shame, given its cast – Tom Hardy, who is excellent, has been dealt a huge disservice here. He puts his all into it, there’s no denying that, and stands head and shoulders above his co-stars, but with such a great back catalogue of work behind him, one has to wonder what made him sign the dotted line. Money, perhaps, which This Means War has been absolutely drenched in, from the silly, Austin Powers-esque office Witherspoon’s Lauren works in to the men’s cartoonish bachelor pads with their swimming pool ceilings and kitchen equipment that looks like it’s never been used.
Speaking of things that don’t get used, the plot has a split personality; on the one hand, it wants to be a light, and sometimes genuinely funny romcom, on the other, it’s desperate to be a glossy, over the top action movie with some paper thin storyline running faintly behind the main love triangle that really drowns on the wayside. Toe-curling stereotypes are fluffed up to their absolute maximum – FDR (Pine) is an insufferable manwhore who just doesn’t understand women, Tuck (Hardy) is a sensitive bloke from London (are people from the UK even allowed to work for the CIA? Answers on a postcard, please) who is on the search for The One. And in between all of that, they’re bad guy fightin’ spies who seem to have way too much free time on their hands considering the amount of laying around they do in their pads and the amount of time they dedicate to chasing Witherspoon until one of them wins.
Half a star for some fleetingly funny dialogue that fizzled flat amongst its sugar-heavy direction and cornea-burning cinematography, and a full star for Hardy and Witherspoon’s efforts. Otherwise, this was just another wearisome McG dud that will seriously cause you more harm than good.
THIS MEANS WAR IS RELEASED NATIONALLY IN UK ON MARCH 2ND 2012
About The Author – Teri Williams
Teri is a former film student from Edinburgh and currently works in book publishing in London. She is a fan of bad taste films, horror, fantasy, science fiction and vintage teen comedy and has been described by her friends as a “proper nerd” and a human imdb. She can be found speaking nonsense under the twitter name @msenidcoleslaw and scribbling similar nonsense on her blog Enid’s Revenge
Have you seen this film? Does it appeal to you? Are you a fan of Tom Hardy? Comment below…