This one's worth skipping.

Clumsy; ashamed of my few giggles

This Means War. I did not by any means plan to see this. It did not come off to me as something that would keep me interested for 1½ hour. But I was in town and had nothing to do so I simply walked into the theater lobby and purchased me a ticket. Well, at least I killed some time.

Chris Pine as FDR (right) and Tom Hardy as Tuck.

This Means War may have inspired more laughs in me than I expected, given what the likes of Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper had to say about it, but “not as awful as expected” doesn’t really make it “good”. It is still quite the clumsy, plot hole-ridden comedy. It is directed by McG and I wish I were joking when saying that yes, that’s really his name.

Reese Witherspoon, cute as ever, plays Lauren Scott, a single woman who is adviced – forced, rather – by her off-puttingly slutty aunt, er, friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) to try to find a man trough an online dating service. She finds a man named Tuck (Tom Hardy), who claims to be travel agent but is in reality a CIA Agent and they start a relationship. Fine and good, but she also finds love in a guy named FDR (Chris Pine), and no I have no idea what that name means, who claims to be a cruise ship captain but is in reality a CIA Agent. Tuck and FDR are colleagues, best friends and they practically sit at the same desk. Isn’t that just crazay?

I was in a good mood when I saw this, so it took me a while to fully realize just how truly ludicrous this premise is. Instead of solving this coincidental little misshap like grown men they at first decide to share the woman – yes, I wrote that – and do so brotherly, without telling poor Lauren of course, but soon they start a serious competition to see which one of them can please Lauren the best, thus they use bugs and other CIA equipment to spy on her practically everywhere and find out her interests and desires. If anything, this film should enduce massive paranoia in many women. Not implying that the plot is realistic and that this could actually happen in real life, mind you. Just implying that, well, an immature stalker can be anyone. Be catious, ladies!

As I said, I laughed during the screening a few times but when I thought about it afterwards, I wished I wouldn’t have. What was I thinking? Did my brief laughing interludes indicate that I support what happens to this woman? Does it make me as childish as the main characters? Who knows?

Reese Witherspoon as Lauren, poor poor Lauren.

The film takes a few moments to cut to a much more interesting side-story involving a German gang lord named Heinrich (Til Schweiger) whose sinister, mysterious plans must be much more captivating than anything involving the silly feud between FDR and Tuck. Angela Bassett as the CIA Boss is another genuinely enjoyable element of the film. She sure knows how to play intimidating characters; that is true.

Maybe this plot would make sense if it involved two 15 year-old boys, who let their lust get the better of them and resort to fighting over the girl they’ve both been going out with, instead of solving it like two grown men like FDR and Tuck would. The things these men do seem harmless and are played for laughs, but any sane person will surely pity Reese Witherspoon’s characters. Especially when her horny mother, er, friend Trish keeps her from solving it all herself and instructs her to just keep dating the same two guys until the oppurtunity comes when she can compare their sausages. Again, this is what stupid kids would do. Not adults!

Just to add some more clichés to the story, we get emotional scenes that tell us of Tuck’s problems with his ex-wife (Abigail Spencer), how F.D.R was raised by his grandmother (Rosemary Harris) after his parents died somehow and scenes of Lauren trying to make her ex-boyfriend Steve (Warren Christie) jealous. Oh, groan.

I just figured out another way this plot could work: don’t make the film set in our world! Create an absurd and crazy world like in Airplane! or Kung Pow, and make it so that all the characters actually are absent-minded children trapped within the bodies of grown men and women. In a more psychotic comedy like those I mentioned, it would be more sensical for Tuck and FDR to act this way, because they already live in a non-sensical world. This Means War was set on Earth. Bad writing choice.

This Means War is the first time I’ve been to a movie screening alone. I should’ve brought Dahlberg. We would’ve had a blast riffing it.

1.5/5 whatever.

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