Date night is always a tricky issue as movies that appeal to girls generally don’t appeal to boys. Girls like chick flicks, boys like action. Last Friday night, I was caught in this common conundrum. After a vicious debate, we settled on This Means War, directed by McG.
The movie has the makings of a hit. Not one, but two hunks played by Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) in the role of CIA operative partners (or, to the outside world, travel agent and cruise ship captain, respectively). After a disastrous mission, the two partners are grounded, and they start to focus their attention on another endeavor– a girl. The only problem is, it’s the same girl. Lauren, played by Reese Witherspoon, falls subject to both of their affections. After a gentlemanly agreement to “let the best man win,” the two men shake hands and do their best to win the girl.
The plot was predictable and yes, maybe a bit trite. A quarter into the movie I knew exactly how it would end. There are obviously forced and unbelievable moments (the highway just ends on a bridge with a mere cone to mark the ending) that generated the eye roll and “yeah right” reaction.
In this case, however, it’s not the ending but the journey to get there. And the journey was enjoyable. Hardy and Pine have undeniable chemistry that mesh funny bickering moments and heart warming ones, and both of their relationships with Witherspoon are cute in their own way.
The best part of the movie was the balance between action and romantic comedy. McG is a director well known for movies like Charlie’s Angels and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, both action packed, but in This Means War he weaves in comedic relief, mostly in the form of Chelsea Handler who plays Lauren’s best friend.
Don’t go into This Means War with high expectations of a groundbreaking action-packed spy movie a la Mission Impossble. But if you go in hoping for a funny, endearing and yes, action-packed movie, you will not be disappointed. I give it five stars, and highly suggest it for your next date night.