Making a successful romantic comedy has become quite a critical ordeal for the Hollywood studio system. Their new effort, ‘This Means War,’ an action rom-com, is clumsy in almost every way. ‘This Means War’ fails to reach a peak in any of the aforementioned genres, resulting in absolute mediocrity.
The plot tells the story of two friends who are spies, inseparable since childhood, until life circumstances have them both falling madly in love with the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Due to the jealousy between them, the city of Chicago will become a battle zone of gigantic proportions with the goal of one man standing with his future wife.
I can’t quite put my finger on where the responsibility lays with ‘This Means War’ – is it McG’s direction, the script by Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg, or the chemistry issues amongst the ledas – but what I can say is that it it’s a sum of all its parts.
From the standpoint of directing, McG is a filmmaker who has a reputation for focusing more on the visuals of a film rather than the quality of the story. Just take a look at Terminator: Salvation. His philosophy is to amaze the eyes, not the brain. ‘This Means War’ is a perfect example of that.
Meanwhile, our protagonists: Reese Witherspoon (Water for Elephants, How Do You Know, Four Christmases) comes to this film with her star dimmed. Her charisma and sensuality is obvious but it is completely lost here. The two leading men, Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Warrior, Inception) and Chris Pine (Star Trek, Unstoppable) are supposed to be best friends at odds, and even though their little game works, it’s not substantial enough to keep you tied to your chair.
The objective behind ‘This Means War’ is to entertain, and though some scenes do, one pays money to experience entertainment from beginning to end, not in doses. If so, than I’d rather pay to see the trailer which will give me all I want, no disappointments.