This week, I stumbled upon an amazing fact: the combined estimated budgets of The Artist, The Descendants and Midnight in Paris, three films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, add up to a meagre US$52 million - 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 the Best Picture nominees this year, only Hugo had a bigger budget. Having seen This Means War, I can say it was clearly not money well spent.
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 foiled one of his evil plots. Meanwhile, the duo fall for the stunning Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). She is unaware they know each other, and the rest of the film becomes a game of using CIA-type tactics to win her over.
Pine and Hardy lack the star power to make this bromance work. The action segments are horribly executed. Their attempts to sabotage each other's dates bring some laughs but lack logic and believability.
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 a half of mindless displays of manly courtship.
Contains mature subject matter