Entertainment » Movies

This Means War

by Phil Hall
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Tuesday May 22, 2012
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CIA agents FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) botch a covert operation in Hong Kong and are relegated to desk duty. Both men somehow wind up dating the same woman - a product testing executive (Reese Witherspoon) who is unaware of their real day jobs. The men use their CIA gadgetry to get sabotage each other’s attempts to woo this lady. However, their CIA work comes crashing into their romantic entanglements, and this love triangle gets invaded by violent criminal elements.

Screenwriters Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg and director McQ apparently have very little acquaintance with how real people interact and converse, which explains the painful thudding in the dialogue and the contrived cutesy romantic sequences. The action scenes represent the most embarrassing spy caper machinations since Roger Moore’s puerile reign as 007, with plenty of noise and flash but not very much in the way of logic.

If the performances in this film are indication, the leading men have no talent as actors and are clearly on screen simply as eye candy.

If the performances in this film are any indication, the leading men have no talent as actors and are clearly on screen simply as eye candy. Witherspoon is such a dismally enervated presence that it difficult to recall that she won the Oscar a mere six years ago. Chelsea Handler gets (and flubs) the Eve Arden role as the leading lady’s sarcastically wisecracking best friend, while the film’s one genuine talent, Angela Bassett, is utterly wasted in a nothing role as the agents’ harridan superior.

All told, this is among the year’s worst films.

"This Means War"
20th Century Fox DVD
$29.98, 97 minutes, Rated PG-13

Phil Hall is the author of "The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time

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