The secret is out: women can, and do, go out with multiple men. Who can blame them if those men are in the realm of Chris Pine (Star Trek, Unstoppable) and Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises)? In This Means War, directed my McG (director of Charlie\’s Angels and executive producer of shows like Supernatural, Nikita, and Chuck), FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) play two CIA operatives who end up dating the same woman, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). A battle ensues to vie for her affection, threatening the close friendship of these two men.
While Lauren, a power gal who seems to have it all: beauty, brains, and perkiness, spends the entire film trying to decide who to choose between the two men, they, in return, deploy various means and devices to thwart the other’s intentions. The story plays out in one humorous scene or dialogue after another, with a subplot of an evil doer bent on revenge for his partner’s death. Til Schweiger (Inglourious Bastards, Lara Croft II: Cradle of Life) plays Heinrich, whose role, unfortunately, seems merely an afterthought to an otherwise self-contained storyline. It’s the introduction of the subplot, however, that provides the impressive action and fight scenes, showing off how incredibly manly FDR and Tuck are when not in the dating roles.
On the surface level this film does appear to be another chick flick to drag the significant other to on Valentine’s Day or other date night, but it actually could pass as a straight up comedy. Hilariously cast, even with brief appearances by Angela Bassett as the no-nonsense boss, the romance part again seems a bit more of an afterthought, a conclusion to tie things together in the end. Chelsea Handler, as Trish, Lauren’s best friend and confidant, portrays the friend that all women seem to have one of – the one who tells things like they are in the most realistic and unabashed ways. Most women would probably relate to the conversations between Lauren and Trish, and giggling may be heard while in the theater watching the film. Men may react the same way as FDR and Tuck when it comes to women, at least if they are like Reese Witherspoon and her character.
Chris Pine and Tom Hardy have absolute chemistry together as the two men who must choose between friendship and love for Reese Witherspoon. Hardy’s sweet and safe (yet obviously hunky) Tuck plays harmoniously well against Pine’s suave (yet sensitive) player FDR. It’s a hard choice, indeed, for Reese’s almost too perfect Lauren.
This film is not one for the Oscars, but it is distinguishably funny and relevant with today’s relationships. We may not all be exactly like the characters involved but most of us could probably relate to them (with a noted point to the video store scene). The end wraps up a bit too clean and tidy but there’s not much else to be expected. One thing about the film’s colorization: the images are contrastingly defined and everyone’s eyes are outstandingly vibrant in color.