This Means War
by Tony Medley
Run time 98
Back in the day
entertaining movies could be made about two men pursuing one woman like,
for instance, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy going after Myrna Loy or
Claudette Colbert. They would have interesting stories and good
directors and fine scripts and the audiences would believe them. Gable
and Tracy were men's men who actually had chemistry between them as well
as between them and the woman they pursued.
when a movie about two men pursuing one woman is made, what results is
drivel like this with two guys, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, going after
Reese Witherspoon, who is no stranger to films that lack romantic
chemistry. One of the many problems with this is that Pine and Hardy are
hardly Gable and Tracy. But the problems don't stop with inept casting.
The film has an absurd story (Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg with
story credits to Dowling and Marcus Gautesen, although why anybody would
want a story credit for this is beyond me; I would think that they'd be
fighting to keep their names off of it) that is based on the idea that
Pine and Hardy are brutal CIA agents using every spy technique they
possess to try to figure out how to win Witherspoon's heart.
occur to them is honesty, and that's another huge problem. There isn't
an iota of a reason why Witherspoon would be attracted to these two
duds. They ply her with dishonesty and playacting, pretending to be
things they are not. Apparently, she's dumb enough to fall for it.
She's not helped
by having a best friend, Chelsea Handler, who is a foul-talking woman
whose advice consists of encouraging Witherspoon to jump in bed with
them as fast as possible, and even offers to do it for her, even though
she's a mother with a young child. Her only raison d'Ítre appears to be
to make crude jokes about sex and male body parts. She's certainly not
there to make thoughtful suggestions.
One of the
scenes is an inane fight between Pine and Hardy that makes absolutely no
sense. It occurs in a restaurant when Reese tries to get away from them
by going to the bathroom. When she's gone suddenly they get in a
knock-down, drag-out fight in which they look as if they're trying to
kill one another. When Witherspoon returns the restaurant is deserted.
There's not one person left, including staff. There are no police.
Nothing. It's not funny; it's idiotic.
Director McG has
tried action comedies before. He directed two Charlie's Angels
films which were as bad as this, if not worse if that's possible.
Frankly, I'm sick of films that don't have a clue about what's funny and
what's not, that substitute crudity for humor, and appear to be thrown
together without a thought given to intelligence and verisimilitude.