Movie Review: This Means War
This Means War (M)
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy.
Reviewed by Alfinda Agyputri
All’s fair in love, war and romantic comedy
Romantic comedies are often considered as ‘women movies’ that men won’t touch unless they’re dragged into one by their ladies. The sweet and touching scenes that fill the theatre with giggles and squeals barely keep them entertained, let alone satisfy their cravings for some action. The makers of This Means War seem to sympathise with this and attempt to create the perfect mix.
Two top CIA agents FDR Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are best buddies in life and a dynamic duo on the field until they find out they’re dating the same woman, Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon). Tuck, who’s trying to move on from his past marriage, finds Lauren on a dating website and decides to give her a go. Lauren is thrown into the website against her will by her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler), who is trying to help her get over the recent engagement of her ex-boyfriend. Not long after Tuck and Lauren have their first date, FDR runs into Lauren at a video store and tries to hit on her. Realising that FDR is a womaniser, Lauren turns him down only to be convinced to go on a date with him later on. FDR and Tuck then decide to make it a fair competition to win Lauren’s affection without her knowing it. The competition soon turns ugly with them sabotaging each other using sophisticated spy technologies. Lauren, who feels guilty about dating two men at the same time, sets herself a deadline to make a decision. Just when Lauren makes up her mind, things become complicated when FDR and Tuck’s archenemy Heinrich (Til Schweiger) come into the picture, seeking revenge for his brother’s death.
This Means War takes on the classic scenario of a love triangle and serves it up in an unusual context. Female viewers are given the privilege to join in the thrill of being romantically pursued by two spies. The movie is sprinkled with out-of-the ordinary dating scenes, like a trapeze date night or watching your date perform a CIA-calibre action in a paintball game. The creative use of secret agent’s tactics to sabotage dates and spy on a girl is amusing to watch. Tuck and FDR make a comic combination with their starkly different personalities as they act on their male egos.
For the lads, there are some reasons not to fall asleep. Fighting and car chase scenes that are properly done give a fairly authentic action-film flavour. Even though the emphasis is on the rom-com side, the action scenes do not feel fake or out of place. Male viewers are also invited to relate to the pride involved in competing for a woman.
This Means War offers a clever mix of romance, comedy and action, which breathes some fresh air to the Hollywood rom-com arena.
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