Title: This Means War
Script: Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg, Marcus Gautesen
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Chelsea Handler
Duration: 99 minutes
2 Spies. 1 Girl. No Rules
Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.
This Means War starts slowly with some background and character scenes showing the two leads Tuck (Tom Hardy) and Franklin (Chris Pine) as friends working together as agents for the CIA and the female lead Lauren working as a product tester, it's a bit pedestrian but the action ramps up as the second act kicks in and the two guys start to date her at the same time competitively against one another using all their romantic skills to seduce Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) whilst using their high tech surveillance skills to track each other's progress.
At some points the film feels as though it might possibly slip into mediocrity but it's the trio of talented and likeable actors that raises it above other similar films. Will Lauren choose Franklin the slick, womanising American or Tuck the lovelorn, more romantic Brit?
The direction is solid and slick apart from the opening scenes which lag a little more than you would expect but overall the film had enough action and laughs to provide enjoyment and a decent form of distraction for viewers without ever perhaps being a smash hit. It's consistently good without ever really being great perhaps missing out on extra kudos by just being slightly too predictable.
This Means War is a lot more credible than you might at first imagine or expect from this sort of film and despite the unlikely premise the film flows well and the dialogue and interactions feel reasonably organic and mostly realistic.
And opposed to the usual plot device of not allowing men who are competing for the affections of the same woman to know the truth of their situation until the final act, here the leads find out the truth from the start which has a positive effect on the film as a whole, as the final outcome feels much more believable and honest as a consequence.