Strictly fantasy, definitely silly, and with few surprises, This Means War has two macho CIA spies – who are also friends – falling for the same woman. Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play the agents and they’re fortunate to get Reese Witherspoon as their co-star. Director, McG’s (Charlie's Angels, Terminator Salvation) scene opener of an operation in Hong Kong is so far from this romantic/comedy plot audience members are instantly clueless moments later.
Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine
James “Tuck” (Hardy) is a down to earth guy but also a CIA agent who has done his share of thumping bad guys. He and his partner, FDR (Pine), are now working closer at home turning their skills into solving crimes and stopping thugs with high-tech gadgetry.
Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon
Both guys are ripe for a relationship. The English born Tuck can’t seem to find the right girl so he joins an online match site and sets up a date with Lauren Scott (Witherspoon). On their first date for coffee she finds him intriguing. Even though he’s cute and has a great build, he seems to have a warm, sincere and appealing personality. Just the right guy to cuddle up to. The couple agrees to meet again and depart full of excited expectation.
As soon as Lauren leaves Tuck she stops by a video store to score a movie for her evening entertainment. There she meets FDR who immediately wants to help her find the right video – so he says. What he really wants is to get into her bed adding another conquest to his long list.
Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy
Eventually Lauren is in a relationship with both men and unable to chose one over the other. Things intensify when she learns they know and work with each other. The gloves come off as FDR and Tuck go at it with each other and hope they are the best man that wins. They both break every rule of their careers by using CIA equipment to their advantage. They ask other agents to look into Lauren’s personal life and set up secretive operations to spy and try to harm each other when it’s not their night with Lauren.
Giving totally ridiculous advice to Lauren is her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). She has the mouth of a sailor, has very weird sex with her husband and suggests things for Lauren to do most friends would find offensive.
There’s some good chemistry between Hardy (Warrior, Inception), Pine (Unstoppable, Star Trek) and Witherspoon (Water For Elephants), and the two males provide plenty of kick-action adventure in their covert operations. Although a little too cliché, Witherspoon is fine as the woman who can’t chose and quite zany as a product evaluator. Still This Means War doesn’t know if it wants to be a high-adrenaline spy film or romantic comedy. The middle ground is mostly implausible and asks too much of its audience.
Photo Credit: Kimberly French / 20th Century Fox