Preening macho duo falls flat
Barry C Chung
This week I stumbled upon an amazing fact: the combined estimated budgets of The Artist, The Descendants and Midnight in Paris, three Oscar-nominated Best Picture films, add up to a meagre US$52 million dollars - quite conservative by Hollywood standards. Now get this: the McG-directed romp This Means War comes in at a whopping US$70 million. In fact, out of all Best Picture nominees this year, only Hugo had a bigger budget. Having seen This Means War, it's clear producers were ripped off.
CIA operatives FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are best friends who work together. Terrorist Heinrich (Til Schweiger) is bent on revenge after the pair intervened during one of his evil plots. Meanwhile, the duo fall for the stunning Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon). She is unaware they know each other, and the rest of the film becomes a game of using CIA-type tactics in one-upmanship to win her over.
Pine and Hardy lack the star power to make this bromance work. The action segments are disjointed and horribly executed. Their attempts to foil each others' dates are worthy of some laughs, but lack logic and believability.
The film's one redeeming quality is that the final outcome isn't that predictable: she does choose ONE of the two. But that's not nearly enough to justify an hour and half of mindless displays of macho courtship.
Contains mature subject matter