Chris Pine and Tom Hardy portray the worldâs deadliest CIA operatives who are also inseparable partners and best friendsâ¦ until they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Having once helped bring down entire enemy nations, they are now employing their incomparable skills and an endless array of high-tech gadgetry against their greatest nemesis ever â each other.
It just may be every woman's secret fantasy to have two gorgeous men, like actors Tom Hardy and Chris Pine, fighting for your affections. This is the case in This Means War, where both men, as characters FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are battling it out to win Lauren's (Reese Witherspoon) heart. The catch is of course that she does not know about their battle royale, or that the two men are actually CIA partners and the closest of friends. Adding to the story is the fact that both men are being hunted by the brother of a man they killed during their last mission--the mission that got them out of the field and chained to desks. Had it not been for their grounding they would never have had the time to cause mischief in the dating world, and Lauren would never have become the victim of their shenanigans--everything happens for a reason.
This Means War is a romantic comedy wrapped up in action buddy comedy caper. It has the romance for the ladies, courtesy of Chris Pine's FDR and Tom Hardy's Tuck trying their hardest to woo the heart of Witherspoon's Lauren. It also has the girl-talk, thanks to the addition of Chelsea Handler as Lauren's best friend and confidante Trish. For the men (and ladies), there are brief doses of action thrown in when FDR and Tuck are called to duty as CIA agents. The game the men have chosen to play, with Lauren as the pawn, is one destined for trouble. This Means War keeps you guessing until the end who she will choose, and makes you question whether she made the right choice at all. Guns, romance, and whip-smart comedy from all involved make This Means War better than most romantic comedies, and one everyone should be more than pleased with watching at the cinema.
The common necessary factor in a romantic comedy is the chemistry between the leading couple. This Means War changes things up, and for the better as there are three key couplings at play here. FDR and Tuck are partners, and friends; they know far too much about one another and in order to make their close relationship believable the chemistry has to be there between the two actors. It is, as Tom Hardy and Chris Pine exude bromance in the most mischievous ways. When waging war against your best friend, in order to sabotage their dates and the possibility of romance one needs to know exactly how to manipulate the person and/or situation. In a comedy they have to do it with humor. Tuck and FDR manage both, and the scenes between the two men laughing over the footage collected from the evening's previous dates or listening in on Lauren's private commentary about both men is hilarious. As are the war room style meetings each man has with their team--all on the government's time of course. When FDR turns to Tuck to remark that he knows his girly hands have nothing to do with any other part of his anatomy the scene plays just as it would between two men who are close to one another. There is nothing forced between Tuck and FDR when it comes to relating to one another. Their connection is actually more important in the story than the chemistry they share with Witherspoon's Lauren as this is more a movie about two men being gentlemanly while dating the same woman than it is about actually falling in love with said woman. Making This Means War far from being a chick flick, but close enough to where the ladies do not feel left out completely.
Lauren's chemistry with FDR and Tuck may play second to the guy's relationship but it is important nonetheless. Lauren and Tuck, and Lauren and FDR, have a small spark with one another but nothing that radiates off of the screen or screams love at first sight. There is a meet cute, where Lauren tells FDR exactly how she feels about him from his first impression; a scene that will make every woman proud for her boldness. Lauren and Tuck's meeting is much sweeter, and timed to the present state of dating in the modern age as they meet online. How they do is a comedic moment between Lauren and Handler's Trish that remarks clearly on online dating profiling and the not-so-honest methods employed by individuals. The unknown in the threesome that is Lauren-Tuck-FDR is who she will choose in the end, or whether she will end up with either of them as they battle it out for her affections. Who Lauren chooses is inconsequential for the viewer, and a tad predictable due to one other element of the story (no spoiler here), because the movie is about the game between the two men, and how Lauren handles dating two men. The predicament is at the forefront, not the falling in love.
Lauren and Trish round out the coupling's of This Means War. Their's is not the most likely friendship given their very different personalities but it works to an extent as Lauren is more reserved and Trish is outlandish with her racy comments. Some of Trish's commentary was actually cut from the film in order to get the PG-13 rating, and you can tell when the edits occur as certain lines drop off too quickly. When it comes to how women speak to one another, in a situation where one is dating two men, the conversations are refreshingly realistic, even if they do feel staged more than one would prefer. Witherspoon and Handler do not have the strongest chemistry as best friends but the humor Handler infuses overshadows that fact; she is hilarious and in doing so makes the girl-talk bearable, and even enjoyable. The women definitely take a back-seat in This Means War; it is doubtful anyone will be complaining since it works just fine the way it is on screen.
Action, Romantic Comedy
February 17, 2012