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Having sat through a number of romantic comedies over the years I have grown to be a little tired of them all following the same basic storyline so am always glad when there is a new film which comes along with some new ideas and that is exactly why This Means War first appealed to me.
The film sees two CIA agents who are friends as well as colleagues so when they both decide to go for the same woman they are going to go all out to ensure they are the one who gets her affections. With both of these friends being top CIA agents and used to being able to achieve the results required no matter the cost how much of a strain will it place on their friendship with neither willing to back down.
The two friends are played by Chris Pine (who plays FDR) and Tom Hardy (who plays Tuck) and the two actors have a great chemistry that really does add to the overall feel of a very polished film. The object of their affections being the superb Reese Witherspoon who plays the role absolutely perfectly and for me the entire casting of the film feels right but especially with these 3 in the main carrying the film along to enable for a well delivered story to really work and give you a great film that has plenty of laughs throughout.
Overall this is a film that is romantic comedy which is not just for the ladies to enjoy but can also be very much enjoyed by the guys too as it manages to have plenty of laughs and action to carry it through as a really impressive film which I really did enjoy a lot and would highly recommend as being worth a watch.
Was quite desperate for something to watch Friday night, having watched everything we own on numerous occasions and unable to find anything that sparked our interest on the telly. So we decided to raid our oldest daughters supply of DVD's, most were definitely not something my husband would want to watch but she advised that we'd like "This means war".
So stored in a red case, a picture of the main characters on the front, so the stars Reese Witherspoon (Lauren), Chris Pine (FDR) and Tom Hardy (Tuck) walking towards us. The film is rated as a 12 as "contains moderate violence and sex references and one use of strong language". The film lasts 93 mins.
The film is directed by McG, and produced by Simon Kinberg, James Lassiter, Robert Simonds and Will Smith. The tag line is "2 Spies, 1 girl, no rules".
Pine and Hardy play CIA agents who are also best friends, we see them in action in the first scene as they work together, in a very Americanised high energy fighting scene, the graphics and stunts are overall very good and dramatic. We then see the lighter side of Tuck, as a father and clearly missing the relationship he had with his now ex wife. FDR is the complete opposite, wanting only casual relationships.
Enter Lauren, a business women, trying desperately to avoid her ex and new love, with her best friend setting her up with an online dating site. She has a date with Tuck, which goes well but then after bumps into FDR. He doesn't realise that its Tucks date and sets out to woo her. The story unfolds from here, in a predictable way.
What Did I think
I thought the acting was of a good standard, the graphics and stunts good. The plot predictable in the Rom Com way and was an easy watch that did keep me watching but was fairly average. Not something that would win an award or be worth watching again but enjoyable for what it was, so to reflect this its getting 3 stars.
I think it was purchased second hand on ebay but for £3 you can have new and delivered via Amazon.
With a love triangle that is as impossibly good looking as this one, it's difficult to know which pair to root for. But to put things simply, it's a showdown between a young James Bond (Tom Hardy) and a young Ethan Hunt (Chris Pine) who are also the best of friends. "I know that you would take a bullet for me, I would for you as well" says Tuck (Hardy) to FDR (Pine) Awwwww. Their bromance is shown in none other than a loud, kinetic action scene on the rooftop of a tall Hong Kong tower, something director McG (Terminator: Salvation) should be familiar with. But it's nothing special, with a modest scale that seems to be a waste on the two talented young actors. And just from watching the first ten to fifteen minutes or so of uninspired, highly ordinary footage, we immediately begin to worry whether the rest of the film will be as mediocre.
Thankfully, things get more interesting however, for both the leading men and the audience, when Reese Witherspoon enters the picture. As her bright and perky unlucky-in-love Lauren appears, it's no more a nice bromance, but a full-on war, hence the title. A slight misunderstanding involving a blind date and a chance encounter at a video rental store, the two men meet her within minutes, and are completely taken by her. Witherspoon, the talented comic actress who can do this kind of simple role in her sleep, is effective in showing us just why these two tough guys are bending over backwards to impress her. The snarky, sly interception of various dates begins, with the two spies, who have access to plenty of CIA's most advanced resources, smartly outdoing one another in the most spectacular ways. It's a nonsense screwball comedy, worked to maximum effect with the occasional action added. Of course, something like this can (hopefully) never happen in real-life - who knows how many laws these guys are breaking, using expensive resources and in short, stalking this poor girl who has to make a decision eventually. It would be a difficult decision for any woman - Pine or Hardy, Pine or Hardy.
A part of what makes this such a watchable experience is the entirely convincing chemistry Hardy shares with Pine. They're cheeky, funny, and seem uninhibited as they appear scene after scene bickering like two immature little boys. As they spy on Lauren she has no problem sharing all the intimate details of her two relationships to her blunt gal-pal confidant Trish (Chelsea Handler). FDR has small and delicate hands - and this of course has more troubling implications (to which FDR responds: "You know that's not true. You've seen it. You've seen it in Bangladesh, you know that's not true"), and Tuck is British - which apparently means the same thing. Hilarity ensues as the two spies are powerless to stop her rambling on about the most embarrassing facts about each other.
It's not all about the bromance however: because Witherspoon is paired with a priceless comedic supporting comedienne Handler. Her dialogue is rich with dry, sarcastic and sexually charged zingers, and with her deadpan delivery of the well-written lines, she is an invaluable addition to the already impressive cast. This allows Witherspoon room to develop her character more and although Handler's role may be plagued with predictable clichés of a borderline alcoholic, sex-obsessed, middle-aged woman, the fact that she adds a whole lot more quality laughter into the film works out as a massive plus. She even has the kind heart to volunteer herself to "try out" the two men to report back to her best friend who she would be most compatible with. An offer the two men can only listen to in horror as they wonder why Lauren is talking to "that old man".
Despite the obvious humour that drives a lot of the film's first half, the script also remains faithful to the more romantic side of the two sets of relationships. FDR, the womanising, club-hopping playboy who lived on one-night stands, is actually thinking of settling down with the girl who he is truly taken aback by. Tuck, the tough guy with a soft heart, reeling from his divorce and struggling to connect with his son whilst having to deal with the cold-shoulder treatment from his ex, also finds something deep and meaningful during his time with Lauren, a possible source to mend his broken heart perhaps. These back stories provide nothing original to what the actors have played in the past, but it works because Pine and Hardy play them so well. Yes, there is nothing romantic, ethical or legal about how these two spies constantly have their eyes on this woman by spending some hi-tech valuable national resources - but this is McG's world. It's not supposed to be taken too seriously. And once you get past the issue regarding invasion of privacy, it turns into an entertaining romp.
With appealing leads, McG sustains the intrigue surrounding his love triangle but where he fails to truly impress is with his action scenes which never find enough momentum. As a subplot, these two CIA agents manage to anger a dangerous mobster. And surprise, Lauren gets caught in the middle of something deadly. What follows is a highly unsatisfying car chase, followed by one anti-climactic shoot-out in which Lauren makes her ultimate decision, all too soon, with a far too convenient solution to give everyone a happy ending. It will make you cringe, but because of its consistent build-up, ultimately it's an ideal film for a brainless night-out. Three alternate endings were shot for the film, until eventually one was chosen for the general release. Now I haven't seen these other possible conclusions, but the "original" ending can be seen as the most "Hollywood" kind of finale, where everyone finds their own happily ever after, with no one exactly losing out on anything. And for a breezy action romantic-comedy, that's exactly the kind of perfect finish the film could have looked for.
The other night when there was nothing else on, me and my husband decided to watch This Means War which is currently available on Sky Premiere and anytime movies. He had seen a clip for it and reckoned it looked half decent with a few comedy moments thrown in for good measure. We sat down to watch it and I have to say, although it's quite goofy, I really enjoyed watching it and would be happy to recommend it.
The film follows two CIA Agents, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine). They are from the get go, quite obviously best friends who absolutely adore each other and constantly have each other's back. FDR (or Frank as he is occasionally known as) is a real ladies man, played by Chris Pine he is obviously meant to be the 'handsome one', but I find him a bit of a sleeze in general (I've thought that in other films he's been in), and for me I can't see him in that role. Tuck is I guess meant to be the more sensitive one, 'the one with feelings' if you like. He's the one with the kid, much more sensible (well as much as gun toting CIA Agents can be), and a hell of a lot sexier! He's also British; whereas Chris Pine is American so maybe psychologically for me Tom Hardy was always going to win! At one point in the film when the love interest begins, Tucks and FDR's faults are listed and Tucks was that he was British!! The outrage!
The film begins as they follow a hardened criminal and try and bring him down, but this swiftly changes and the film completely changes direction with Tuck deciding he's lonely and joining a dating website. This is when we are introduced to Reece Witherspoons character, Lauren. Not quite as stupid as the role she played in Legally Blonde, but completely ditzy and definitely unlucky in love, she too joins the dating website and the two are instantly attracted to one another. By the forces that be, Lauren is also introduced to FDR and soon Lauren must chose who she likes best. Along the way though she decides to play men at their own game and be as her best friends calls her 'a slut'! She plays them both, completely unaware that the two men are in fact best friends.
To be fair for the type of film it is, the acting is pretty decent and although I wasn't too sure on Chris Pine at first, the casting is also perfect. The two men play against each other and as the title suggests, this means war. Given that they work for the CIA, they completely abuse their positions within the CIA (which is a bit 'oh come on', but just go with it!) in order to keep tabs on one another and more importantly, Lauren. There are lots of scenes of sabotage mixed with a few lovely dovey scenes. There are a few decent special effects, lots of explosives, guns, a few cringy dancing moments and lots and lots of laughs. The film had me laughing out loud quite a few times and it was a really enjoyable film.
The only thing that slightly annoyed me about this film (and I'm going to knock a whole star off for this), is the amount of goofs in the film. So many that I spotted around 5 without any help of imdb (I was very proud!). This for me, is really sloppy and when you are spending a whopping $65 million on the film, a week or so spent on editing properly is surely just common sense? Not so in this film apparently and as I said there are lots of really obvious goofs and bad editing.
Other actors that were considered for the role include Sam Worthingotn, Colin Farrell and Justin Timberlake. I think the choice was perfect but there is a part of me that wonders what Tom Hardy and Justin Timberlake would have been like together (Heaven!).
A really funny and nice easy watch. Give it a go.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love a bit of Tom Hardy and will watch anything with him in it for just a glimmer of his buffness (cough cough, Dark Knight Rises & Inception lol) so when This Means War came out in cinema I was eager to see it but never got round to it. Then it of course came out on DVD so into my amazon wishlist it went but as per usual I always had something else in mind so never got round to buying it either! Eventually my sister cottoned on and so bought it for me for Christmas - yay!
- Plot -
FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Hello Tom Hardy *wink wink*) are two CIA agents on desk duty after an incident in the field during an operation in Hong Kong where the 2 blow their cover. Tuck, looking to settle down goes online dating and meets the lovely Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) in search of "The One", whereas FDR, our more playboy, arrogant guy bumps into her in a music store and the 2 hit it off. Eventually the 2 of course realise they are dating the same woman and the battle commences over who she will choose, all the time whilst being hunted down by Heinrich after killing his brother in Hong Kong at the start of the film. Who will Reese choose, and do we even care?
- My Opinion -
Sadly I was not blown away by this film and ended up watching it over 3 nights as it was such a snooze fest! Considering I knew pretty much the storyline befofehand it was all quite predictable and really didn't stray too far from cliche lines. Don't get me wrong, the acting was strong from a well known cast but it all fell quite flat. Pine was on in his bachelor type role- now converted to soppy and in love and Hardy was of course the loveable british gentleman which was a new role I thought he took on well as I have only really seen him in an aggressive, or gangsta role. Witherspoon was her usual bubbly self, quite reminiscient of Legally blonde but on the whole it felt bland and 93 minutes hasn't felt so long before!
It starts off with some action but this really disappears for the rest of the film until pretty much the last scene again so in the middle it is definitely much more rom-com (and not even a fantastic one at that!) than the semi-action film I'd hoped for.There aee also a few funny scenes which made me smile but again, no heart wrenching tears of laughter to boost the film up a bit.
The film does keep some pace and kind of keeps you guessing as to who she will choose but about 20 minutes before the end you can smell it a mile off. On the DVD there are 3 alternate endings which are interesting but really nothing major.
- Overall -
Overall, this film was a bit lacking and whilst the cast are lovely to look at there really isn't much else going on and nothing substantial enough for me to recommend it. It's decent enough to pass the time or have as background noise but sadly nothing special for me to shout about.
I'll start by staying that I'm not really a chick flick kinda gal. In fact, I can usually think of nothing worse, but there are occasions when I want something that's very mindless and a little uplifting, so I try to keep a reasonably open mind. Being a fan of action, I thought that This Means War would be a good compromise. Unfortunately, this film is far more romantic mush than action and offers very little other than clichés and cringe worthy moments.
This was directed by McG, a strange name admittedly, who has worked on various TV series and films, including Chuck and The OC (producer), and Charlie's Angels (Director), so he has experience that was put to use in This Is War. We are introduced to FDR and Tuck, two CIA agents and best friends, despite a lot of competition between the two of them in their work and personal lives perhaps. They're both single, with FDR being more of a 'player' and Tuck being more the gentleman after having his heartbroken. Things are about to change as they both meet a woman, the only problem being that they've both met the same woman.
Intro Lauren, a successful woman with her own business and by all other accounts one of those 'perfect' characters that has everything going for her. It's no wonder the two guys both fell for her, but for Lauren, dating two guys at the same time isn't something she's comfortable with. Having discussed her options with her friend, she decides to do it anyway. She will put them through their paces and see which is the better suitor. Once the guys discover they're dating the same woman, however, their competitive streak arises as they clamour for her attentions and to secure the best dates with her. It's a case of having the best man win, except their tactics become increasingly unethical despite them both saying they wouldn't let it ruin their friendship.
The rest of the film just takes us through the various dates the two guys go on with Lauren, with a small sideline of the CIA guys real CIA work getting the bad guys. The question is, will Lauren see through the lies and pretending the two candidates are employing to compete to win her affections? Will she pick one of them, or decide neither are ultimately worth it? And what will happen to the real CIA work at hand, especially with the tensions fraying between the two friends and co-workers?
I'm not entirely sure where to start with this one in terms of my thoughts on it, but I will say that I was naïve in thinking that the mix of action thriller and romantic comedy could be anything but a mushy chick flick. Throughout the film, I was wondering where the action would come in and when the stereotypical, standard rom com would take a back seat. There was a lot in the way of
The cast was fairly strong with Chris Pine (FDR), Tom Hardy (Tuck) and Reese Witherspoon (Lauren) taking the leading roles. They made the film more enjoyable because I quite liked them and they made the characters relatively believable. However, even the three of them combined couldn't do enough to bring this film up in my mind from 2 stars given the bog standard premise and script. I am pretty sure though that without them this film wouldn't have stood a chance, so they were chosen fairly well. Having said that, I was irritated a bit by Tuck, the well-spoken British agent, for the stereotyping this inevitably brought with it.
The concept of This Means War was to mix spy-thrilling action with romance and comedy, but, as I've already mentioned, it seemed to favour the latter genres. The plot was very much focused on the love triangle, with the real CIA stuff taking a back seat to the point where it might as well not have been included. I can't say I found this to be much of a comedy; I don't think I laughed, chuckled, or even smirked, once. It seemed very basic and very expected, not being interesting or witty enough for me to find it comical. It was, however, quite a light film. It was easy enough to watch without much thought and it was easy going, but I found some points difficult because it was so predictable and 'mushy', for lack of a better word.
The overall feel to the film was one of reasonable quality, and there were one or two scenes of action that were done all right. Really, it just felt 'so-so', with no scenes or effects or events sticking in my mind. Nothing was noteworthy, nothing was memorable or made me want to talk about it with others after having watched it. The ending I found to be disappointing, but exactly what I had expected, so it was just a film I didn't think much of in general. Fans of Witherspoon-esque chick flicks may enjoy this, with its mix of hot guys, a bit of action and the tale of an 'ordinary' but unlucky-in-love girl having two guys literally fight over her. Just don't watch it expecting too much.
Would I recommend? Personally, no I wouldn't, but then again I also don't particularly like romcoms. I didn't think it did what I had hoped it would do by integrating the spy-thriller element, so it was disappointing. It added nothing new and was very predictable, but it does make for some mindless viewing.
DVD released 2012, running time 93 minutes, rated Certificate 12
Selling on Amazon for £9.99 (DVD & digital copy)
'This Means War' was one of those films that I really looked forward to watching because I thought it had a great mix of action and comedy, and from the trailer, appeared to be stylishly funny, but did it live up to my expectations?
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Having given up everything for a guy in the past, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is reluctant to get back into the dating world, so her friend sets up a profile for her on a dating site. After a great first date with Tuck (Tom Hardy), she meets FDR (Chris Pine) who is equally charming and cannot decide between the two.
Little does she know, not only do they know each other, but are best friends. And are FBI agents. And will use all the resources they can to win her over. May the best man win.
The premise of the movie is simple and straightforward with the pacing slick and we are immediately plunged into the action. The dynamics between the two male leads are immediately set and with the introduction of Lauren into their lives, the pace heightens and the action increases.
At the heart of the film is comedy and whilst all the elements are there, at the core of this films demise is the horrendous script, filled with oversexualised jargon as if they needed to meet a quota. I actually found this unappealing and it turned me off. Whilst inevitably there is going to be sex, like many films today, it was overused.
As the plot progresses and the audience starts to question who she will pick, we inevitably have one that we'd want her to pick. Whilst the film tries to throw us off at every corner as to who she will choose, I thought it was immediately obvious who the 'better' man was.
Just as the plot reached its climax and an uplifting action scene is thrown in our faces (with more firepower), our female lead goes and chooses the 'other' guy, which did annoy me slightly, but then predictably, everyone gets their happy ending.
Reese Witherspoon- Lauren
Tom Hardy- Tuck
Chris Pine- FDR
The lovable Reese Witherspoon is the ultimate choice for this type of movie- she has definitely held her ground in this genre and I felt she was definitely likeable, but again due to bad scripting, her character was truly bipolar and flawed.
Neither Tom Hardy nor Chris Pine are comedic actors and I felt Chris Pine was like fish out of water. Tom Hardy manages to hold his own but was definitely more serious than he needed to be. Both were made to seem more bromantic than necessary and it wouldn't surprise me if they ditched Witherspoon to be 'bros' forever.
In terms of chemistry, it was completely forced between both pairings and I felt there was most believable chemistry between Witherspoon and Warren Christie, who plays her ex. LOL and again, there was more chemistry between the two male leads than they did with Witherspoon.
From the trailer, 'This Means War' looks like a stylish action comedy with a great cast, but the result is lacklustre and cheapened by the trashy script. The decisions the characters made were flawed and the execution of the whole idea went rather pear-shaped. However, there is good firepower and adequate action for guys to sit through. If only they spent more money on a writer, this could have been as thrilling and hilarious as 'Knight and Day'.
I saw this romantic comedy at the cinema last week after seeing the trailer and thinking it looked quite funny. I usually check Rotten Tomatoes to see what the critics thought and found that this film only had 26% which is really poor, however I didn't let this put me off as the critics often don't like this genre of film.
The film is directed by McG and was released in UK cinemas on 02 March and is still showing at cinemas now. The DVD release date is still to be confirmed.
The film is about a love triangle involving two CIA agents FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) who end up dating the same girl - Lauren (Reece Witherspoon). The film opens with the 2 agents on a mission in Hong Kong where they must stop Heinrich a dangerous criminal from obtaining a weapon of mass destruction. The mission is successful in the most part, until the agents kill Heinrichs brother leaving Heinrich seeking revenge. The agents are then confined to the CIA office in America for their own safety which of course they find very boring.
The two men are best friends yet couldn't be any different, Tuck is traditional and romantic, with an ex-wife and young son. Whereas FDR is a womanising bachelor. Tuck meets Lauren through an online dating website and they have a successful first date. However straight after this date FDR bumps into Lauren, unaware of who she is, and also asks her on a date unsuccessfully. However he later shows up at her work place and manages to persuade her to go on the date.
Both men are infatuated by Lauren and also likes them both equally so decides to continue seeing them both until she can reach a decision. Before long the two men discover that they are seeing the same girl but neither backs down so they decide to let the best man win, with one rule that neither of them should have sex with her. What follows is a series of dates with the two men, all of which are hijacked by the other in a bid to ruin things. Laurens dilemma doesn't become any easier as both men are using members of their CIA teams to find out about what she likes etc in order to impress her.
However after a dramatic final scene the decision is made and the destiny of the 3 protagonists is decided.
I thought the storyline was simple yet well thought out and a typical 'dilemma' situation that leaves you wondering what is going to happen. The film was easy to watch and the plot was exactly what I would expect from this genre, therefore was actually quite pleasing. The primary concern of this film was to be entertaining and funny, not to be deep of philosophical, and I think it achieved its goals well. There were some really funny moments in the film which really brought it to life, yet there were also some more serious romantic moments which brought in the romantic side that you expect from this kind of film.
The storyline was fast paced and lively, and no scene dwelled on any moment too long, with constant movement and scene changes. This was very necessary for the film which could have easily become boring if it has hovered on particular scenes for too long.
One thing I didn't like about the film was the fact that it tried to drag in a satirical version of the secret agent action genre. I suppose if the film was about two normal guys maybe it would have been boring, and despite the secret agent theme being abandoned for the most part of the film, it did slip in a few times and was quite entertaining. I'm aware that the film wasn't actually trying to be a serious secret agent film however I found the action scenes such as the opening scene incredibly tacky and hard to believe. I got the feeling that although the film wasn't taking itself too seriously in general, it was intending these particular scenes to be believable, yet they just weren't.
Now here comes the bad part, the acting left a lot to be desired!! The film mainly revolves around the three main characters played by Witherspoon, Hardy and Pine. Reece Witherspoon was ok, I'm used to seeing her play roles like this and she does suit it and pull it off well. I suppose she was in her comfort zone so for her it worked.
Chris Pine is not an actor that I'm too familiar with, I've heard of him and recognised him but don't recall seeing him in any films. I found his acting quite forced and although he played the womanising character well and was believably smug, I just found his whole performance slightly over the top.
Tom Hardy was the biggest disappointment, after seeing him in Warrior I couldn't have said enough about what a brilliant actor he is. Yet he did not suit this role and this kind of film in any way, which resulted in a forced wooden acting style which was the complete opposite of the Oscar-worthy performance he gave in Warrior. I think this was a case of a very mis-informed decision on casting, and I just don't think Hardy should have been selected for this role. I still believe he is a good actor but just don't think he suited this kind of film, so hope he doesn't take on a similar role again.
Despite some of the negative comments I made I did still enjoy this film. I wasn't expecting it to be anything more than it was and felt it delivered good comedy moments combined with an appealing storyline. I wasn't expecting the acting to be amazing, yet was left disappointed particularly by Tom Hardy who I think gave the worst performance despite being so good in other films. I doubt I would watch this again and wouldn't rush around telling people about it, however would still recommend it for anyone looking for an easy to watch romantic comedy with good laughs.