This Means War gleefully stirs together the spy caper and rom-com genres, and with Charlie’s Angel director McG at the helm the resulting mash-up is everything you’d expect: brash, loud and spectacularly dumb.
The film opens in spy mode with reckless CIA-agent pals FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) shooting it out with a criminal mastermind and his gang on top of a Hong Kong skyscraper. Back in LA, with the duo grounded by their disapproving boss (Angela Bassett), the story lands in chick-flick territory when slick ladykiller FDR and divorced dad Tuck inadvertently fall for the same woman, Reese Witherspoon’s online-dating singleton Lauren. With Lauren blithely unaware of her suitors’ true professions and even that they know each other, the best friends turned rivals resort to every shameless, sneaky trick in the spy manual – including high-tech surveillance – to outdo the other.
As the contrived plot unspools, Witherspoon looks hopelessly out of place, as if she’s in the way of the bromance between Pine and Hardy, but amid all the breathtaking silliness some moments are laugh-out-loud funny.
On general release from Friday 2nd March.
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