THIS MEANS WAR, Love is a Battle (Film Review)



It’s a lot of fun, but This Means War spins out of control at times and the romance gets sidetracked for some awesome spy thrills. I like the acting by the trio of leads and directing by McG isn’t too bad either.  If you are woman looking for a romantic night  however, your date better be a macho man.

The story goes pretty much like this; Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine) are a couple of CIA operatives who are just coming off a case they botched while killing the brother of a international hit man Heinrich (Til Schweiger).  Grounded to an office in LA, the two best friends are even assigned desks opposite each other.  In the meantime, Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon) a product tester for a large company has hit rock bottom in the dating scene and her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) persuades her to try on-line dating.

Tuck (Hardy) and FDR (Pine) go to war over Lauren (Witherspoon)

Not happy with things and a lot of time on his hands Tuck turns to finding a date on line and Lauren answers his ad.  Tuck tells FDR of his plan to get together with someone he met on the Internet and FDR says as a friend he’ll be nearby just in case there’s need for him.  Following the date, Lauren accidentally runs into FDR at a bookstore and the two hit it off.  Now with two men from which to choose, Lauren has become confused.  Tuck and FDR find out that they are dating the same girl and their spy instincts kick in causing a comedy of errors.   Then when Heinrich turns up, the love affair gets dicey.

You may think the storyline is absurd, I know I do, and you know what, it gets even more so under the wild direction of McG. Known for his action thrillers (Terminator Salvation, Charles Angels) McG throws a wild shoot-out in the beginning of the film and during the last half. His finale shows some madcap tight spots the trio finds themselves that are way beyond their disagreement over the romance. 

His action sequences are top drawer, but the competition between Tuck and FDR gets way corny and therefore looses its spunk. Although having the three very good actors up on the big screen does have its merits, the film really has very little believable romance at all. The chemistry between Witherspoon with either Hardy or Pine is non-existent, the embraces petty and dialog kind of hackneyed. 

There’s a saving grace however, Chelsea Handler puts on a hilarious performance as best friend of Lauren.  I found myself laughing out loud during most all of her scenes.  At one point she actually steals the show. When Lauren gets confused about dating two guys she tells her; “You know Gloria Steinem got arrested and sat in a jail cell so you could act like a little bitch.  Get out there, you get flexible.”

This Means War has been rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, some violence and action, and for language.  I believe the guys are safe taking the gals to this one as even though it has action, the film still has the aura of a chick-flick.


FINAL ANALYSIS: Action mixed with romance, shaken not stirred. (C )



  • Cast: Reese Witherspoon (Lauren Scott), Chris Pine (FDR Foster), Tom Hardy (Tuck), Til Schweiger and Chelsea Handler (Trish)
  • Directed by: McG
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including references, some violence and action, and for language
  • Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Action/Adventure
  • Running Time: 1 hr 38 min
  • Opening Date: February 14, 2012
  • Distributed by: 20th Century Fox Distribution


Follow John Delia on Twitter @staragent1 and @beyondmarquee


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