The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

This Means War becomes more music video than feature film

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

FDR (Chris Pine, front) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) escort Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon) away from boring, generic terrorists during This Means War’s “climax.”
Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

A girl (Reese Witherspoon) has two pretty boys (Chris Pine, Tom Hardy), who happen to be superheroes, fall in love with her and must choose between them. In the course of their courtship, the boys stalk, lie to and manipulate the girl, and she reveals herself as characterless and undeserving of their affections.

No, it isn’t Twilight. It’s This Means War.

This Means War is drivel at face value. Even when the lead actors or the script forces cleverness and wit, it’s made less than it should be by lazy direction from McG, who seems to think he’s still directing music videos. Major details, such as characters actually aiming their firearms, are mysteriously missing, but bad pop plays over every shot.

This Means War is also drivel beyond face value. The film has the opportunity to be wonderfully tragic or end in polyamory, which is interesting and thought-provoking, but instead backs away and settles on a happy, monogamous ending, which is boring and safe and has been done a thousand times. Lauren Scott (Witherspoon) doesn’t choose between FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) because she loves one more than the other, she does so because of the societal mandate, “There can only be one.”

In another context, This Means War would be an OK movie. Pine and Hardy are good actors who should be bigger-ticket names than they are. The movie has some genuinely funny sequences in spite of McG’s inept direction. Witherspoon is useless, but she’s pretty enough for her limited role.

If This Means War had acknowledged its clear inspiration from the Spy vs. Spy comics (Spy vs. Spy was the original title of the film, and many of the wacky antics are reminiscent of the comics), dressing one of the leads in white and releasing the film as a blockbuster in June or July, it would have been OK. It wouldn’t have been good, but with that context, it would have been OK.

Instead, This Means War backed away from the massive audience a Spy vs. Spy movie would summon and was released as a chick flick in February. In this context, it has nothing to cover its obvious flaws.

 

Final take: A long, campy, misogynist music video

Those who would enjoy it: Fans of Pine, Hardy, Witherspoon (Why would anyone be a fan of Reese Witherspoon?) or McG (same question)

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