This Means War

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This Means War 1This Means War (2012)

Directed by McG

Story by Marcus Gautesen and Timothy Dowling

Written by Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg

Starring: Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Til Schweiger

Foster (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are two of the CIA’s top agents, partners, and friends. Their friendship is tested when they find out that they’re both dating Lauren (Witherspoon). Now these agents are using their skills to battle one another for her attention. In the midst of their personal struggles they’re also forced to go after Karl Heinrich (Schweiger), a terrorist looking to gain access to a WMD.

This Means War 2This action romantic comedy is based on the story developed by Marcus Gautesen (Carboy) and Timothy Dowling (Role Models). Dowling also worked with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) on the screenplay for the film. The movie was directed by McG (3 Days to Kill). The film stars Reese Witherspoon (Devil’s Knot), Tom Hardy (Warrior), Chris Pine (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), and Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds).

This Means War 4This is a move that attempts to blend action, romance, and comedy into one wild ride. Unfortunately it misses on hitting any of the three genres enough to pull it off. The end result is a movie that’s mildly entertaining thanks to a handful of moments. The dialogue is playful but uninspired, and doesn’t seem to bring out much depth. The romance is where the movie really misses though. The desire to mix in the comedy and action seems to leave romance as an afterthought. The end result is a movie that begins as a romance and ends as though the romance wasn’t ever intended to be important to the film. I hate being so hard on a film that still has some entertainment value. Unfortunately the entertainment has less to do with the writing than it does with other elements of the film.

This Means War 6The acting tries like the dickens to make something from this story. Witherspoon, Pine, and Hardy all have so much more to offer than they could bring out of this script. There are some really fun moments between Hardy and Pine, thanks mostly to a good chemistry and some fun physical comedy. Schweiger also does good work with a badly written part. The film also features some good scenes with Witherspoon as well. Unfortunately the cast outside of these four doesn’t have a lot to offer. Acting can’t save this one from bad writing, but it does give it some life.

This Means War 5The production from this movie is like the writing. Nothing seems to click like it should. This is true from some of the action scenes, the editing, and the camera work. It’s like the movie tried to capture the charm of a rom-com like Knocked Up and the action of Sherlock Holmes without understanding what that would amount to. This patchwork quilt just doesn’t do much to pull itself together into a coherent film. It does have good moments, but the overall film doesn’t come together well enough.

This Means War 8This is one of those movies that a lot of people might enjoy for the easy laughs and explosions. For fans of the cast, this might disappoint. Overall, this is a weak romance, wrapped up in a cheesy comedy that also has explosions. I give this one 2.1 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 103 Minutes


  1. This always struck me as a movie that Hardy will want to forget in the future. It felt like such a random choice for him! You summed it up well… Mildly entertaining due to a few amusing moments. Good review.

    Liked by 1 person

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