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  • Writer's pictureSteve

This Means War (2012)

Well, they had a fair old bash at it. Comedy, romance and action all in the one package. First and foremost, you should know that this is a comedy. And not a bad one at that. Frankly, this could all have gone horribly wrong and on the face of it, odds are that it would. Neither Pine nor Hardy are renowned for their comedy chops. Here, you would expect Witherspoon, with all that Legally Blonde tomfoolery to be the stand out, but it didn't turn out that way. She wasn't outgunned by any means, but it was a close call for who brought the most funny to this party.

McG is not a favourite Director of mine, finding as I do, most of his work to be a little... let's say, low-brow. However, he has done a good job here. The date night has never been easier, bringing something for the girls and the boys and combinations thereof. There isn't too much schmaltz, or too many guns for eyes to roll, but enough of each to keep both partners entertained.

Two secret agents fall for the same girl after one of them meets her on a blind date from an online dating site. When the date is over, she goes to rent a movie where the second one spies her and moves in, not knowing that this is the same girl his partner is on the date with that very same night. They discover that they are dating the same girl fairly quickly and decide to both date her, hoping to be victorious as the man chosen by the girl.

It all sounds fairly bland and trite, right? Well, the idea isn't really up to much, but the script makes up for the lack of originality by being punchy and funny. The best lines are equally shared along with, surprisingly, the screen time. Hardy is making interesting moves in Hollywood but as yet, is probably out of his comfort zone here. With great acting performances, intermittent romantic comedies are hard to pull off. It's not so much typecasting, as being seen to be working beneath yourself. What he does do well is action, however, and he excels in this department here. Pine, is not your most obvious choice for action hero, despite his Star Trek adventures, nor is he a convincing sole leading man, which is probably why this shared responsibility with both Hardy and Witherspoon works as well as it does.

With a brilliant supporting turn from Chelsea Handler, who nearly steals the show from under all three of them, This Means War is pure entertainment for the largest demographic it can get its grubby mitts on. It is funny almost throughout, and the actions scenes are tight and well choreographed. If you want big names and pretty faces, with flimsy storytelling, then you have everything you need here. It's not high brow, which is not really that surprising, given the helm, but you won't come away disappointed.


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