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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: June 1: This Means War


June 1: This Means War

"Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman."

This Means War is a terrible mess of a film that, sadly, cannot be saved by its three extremely charismatic leads. It's incredibly shocking how unfunny the film is, and any romance the film tries to inject in itself falls extremely flat. The action sequences are few and far between, and when fists are thrown and bullets are shot, it all happens very quickly. Not to mention, the entire mess has disgustingly bad special effects and is poorly edited. Oddly, nearly every scene ends with a fade to black, as though the movie is going to a commercial break. It's almost as though the film had more of a script for individual scenes as opposed to an entire, fully developed story. Which is not a surprise, as the film jumps around constantly trying to drag out a ridiculous premise for 99 minutes with the most random scenes thrown in here and there. 

It's like blowing a bubble. The bigger it gets, the thinner it spreads, and when the whole thing is over, you're left with a big mess. 

This Means War is about two spies who work for some unnamed agency, who are not only partners but very close friends. FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) have always had each other's back and really nothing has come between them. However, after the two begin dating the same girl, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), their friendship is tested as the two try to win her over by competing against each other. Both men use million dollar equipment and fellow "spy colleagues" to track Lauren and learn all about her, while sabotaging dates. There is also a sub-plot, if you will, where an angry German is after the two spies for killing his brother. This little extra story does not fit anywhere in the plot and really leaves you confused. When it comes to the characters, none of them are developed, and all three leads come across as incredibly shallow. Tuck does have some substance to his character, as he does have a son from a marriage that ended, but even then it's the gooey, ew-y, cliche substance. Lauren is a complete whore, as she's the one playing the two men, and it is such a departure for the usual sweet and likable (which she is not in this) Reese Witherspoon. She has absolutely no chemistry with either of the men, while Hardy and Pine are terrific together as spy partner buddy guys. I would actually watch a full-fledged action comedy with the two of them, if, of course, it had a much stronger script, editing, and absolutely no Witherspoon. 

It also doesn't help that Lauren's best friend is played by Chelsea Handler, who is not only an insult to "comedy" but to people in general. Seriously, she's so f**king annoying and ugly I don't understand how she's any bit relevant.

Stay away from This Means War. It's not worth your time and it is extremely frustrating that such talent can make such a piece of shit. Of course, a lot of the blame can be put in the hands of the hack director, McG (who also made Charlie's Angels and Terminator Salvation). He has very little talent, and while he can, on occasion, film a great action sequence, he has no act for directing actors, even if they're very good at their jobs. This Means War is one of his worst films and is definitely a skip. Let's just hope that after the success of Inception (for Hardy) and Star Trek (for Pine), that these two leading men continue with much better career choices after This Means War, because they are both clearly better than this. 

The Good:
the chemistry between Hardy and Pine is surprising and the only entertaining part of the film
The Bad:
the film's plot, or lack of, is such a crappy mess that not even the three star (and very charismatic) leads cannot save it
The Ugly:
wondering how, again, these three stars would ever agree to be a part of the film as it's up there on all of their lists for the worst film of their careers

Overall: 3.0/10


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