When two CIA agents are ‘grounded’ after a mission goes wrong, their boredom means that they look at their personal lives. Tuck (Tom Hardy) is a man who believes in love and sets out to find it, FDR (Chris Pine) is a man who believes in sex and sets out to find it. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon); a beautiful woman who has had rotten luck with men. Before long she is dating both friends and as they compete for her affections, their friendship hits the ropes.
Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play fellow CIA agents in this movie. Tuck is the romantic type, FDR is the serial dater, but both manage to fall for Lauren. Hardy is capable of much more than the one note romantic that he hits in the movie. We have seen him play the suave bully and the strong silent type in recent movies and there is little going on with Tuck that is not on the surface of the character. Chris Pine is charming as FDR, but again, there is little underneath the surface of the character. The face off between the pair turns into an extended look at macho posturing, and the assumption is made that Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is so starved of male attention that she going to fall for it. The fight scenes are impressive, but that is about all these guys have going for them.
Reese Witherspoon is sweet in the movie, but the character feels as though she was written for Jennifer Aniston, and Witherspoon was a second choice. She looks good, but the idea that she would accept wither of these men into her life is a little insulting; they break into her house, listen in to her conversations and then use this information to manipulate her into a relationship.
McG has managed to create a movie that paints both genders in a negative light for the sake of laughs. Women are portrayed as bipolar, selfish, gullible weaklings who are so blinded by male attention that they fall into the arms of the first man to show them the slightest attention. Men, on the other hand, are insecure and competitive and have no qualms about sabotaging one another to get what they want. Bros before hoes? Not in this movie.
This Means War has a fun premise that is let down by stereotypical and weak characters. There are some fun moments, and a great use of How You Like Me Now by The Heavy – although Curling King used it better – but the fun is too spaced out to save the film. If you want something brainless with pretty people to look at for two hours, fine. If you want a comedy to have something more substantial and well rounded characters, then steer clear.