Friday, February 24, 2012

This Means War [2012]

Director: McG
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger
Genre: Action/Comedy/Romance
Rating: Teen
Excerpt: "A fun movie but without any real focus..."

Synopsis
Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine) are two best friends who are also the best tag team working for the CIA. However, their love lives couldn't be any more different. Whereas Tuck is more of a family man looking to settle down, FDR is a philanderer who loves nothing more than one-night-stands at his bachelor pad. Tension between the two arise when they discover that they are dating the same woman, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). Few other things tear a friendship faster than jealousy, and our heroes get to experience what's that like first hand as they humourously try to foil each other's attempt to woo the lady.

What to Expect
1. Likable leads
2. Cool, solid action sequences
3. Depth
4. Underused talents
5. Everything in moderation

What NOT to Expect
1. A focused movie, with its scenes set up like sketches
Not a bad one to go with, if you can't decide what to watch
Review
One thing to bear in mind is that This Means War (released as That's Mean War in Malaysia) is not to be taken as anything more than a popcorn flick, not the kind you'd go to get wowed. I am aware that I might have used the term "popcorn flick" in a derogatory fashion in the past, so I'll also have you know that I had since softened my stance. But of course, I'll still try to tell it like it is.

So where does that leave us with That's Mean War? Well, I had a good time. But there's a really good chance that I would have skipped this one had there not been a particular actor and actress playing the lead roles; Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon. Heck, they even had Til Schweiger, although none of them really had the chance to fully flex their acting muscles.

But then again, this is not that kind of a movie.


So what will you be getting instead?

A little bit of everything you would expect from a movie that falls under the Romantic-comedy genre, but given an action twist without really excelling in any of them. Which is good enough to tide you by until the end without leaving a bad taste in your mouth due to the performances of its very likable stars.

Nope, no potential Oscar winners here, that goes without saying. But it did look like they had a lot of fun making this movie, not taking themselves too seriously for once. I believe this is the part of the movie that will divide the audience. People still reeling from Tom Hardy's amazing performance in last year's Warrior might want to wait for The Dark Knight Rises instead because like I said earlier, this is not that kind of a movie.


No, sir. I don't know what the real critics are saying, but the only downside I see lies not within the acting department. I feel like they wouldn't be so harsh had director McG chose a single tone and stuck with it because looking at the big picture, it was a rather incongruent mix of love, humour and action. Simply put, it was a balancing issue.

And yes, that whole business with That's Mean War was a joke.

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