A screwball comedy about two CIA agents attempting to seduce the same girl, This Means War dishes up plenty of action for the guys, and romance for the girls - with all the caffeine and packaging of an energy drink.
Director McG has, despite his efforts on the Charlie's Angels movies and Terminator Salvation, a background in music videos, and it shows. He keeps the energy levels high, the music thumping, everyone looking their best, and the action so fast-paced it's almost incoherent. The result is an action comedy that's slick, sexy and fun; it's also far from memorable.
Reese Witherspoon is as adorable as ever as Lauren, who can't find the right guy despite being gorgeous, smart and goofy. When her trash-talking best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) puts her profile on a dating page she meets the sexy, sweet Tuck (Hardy), and is smitten.
An hour later she has a run-in with ladies man FDR (Pine) and before you know it Lauren has not one, but two hot dates.
What she doesn't appreciate is Tuck and FDR are both CIA operatives, and best friends. When they discover they're dating the same girl their bromance goes out the window as they use all high-tech government resources available to win Lauren's affections, and sabotage each other's dates. Lauren, on the other hand, sits around drinking wine with Trish and trying to work out which guy is "the one".
It's not one of Witherspoon's more complex characters. Clearly intended as fantasy escapism there's obviously nothing remotely believable about the characters or the story; in fact the more ridiculous the set-ups are the better it works. It doesn't work quite as much as it should though, with the dial fluctuating between plain silly and outright funny throughout.
Regardless, This Means War features a strong jolt of comedy, action and romance, and when choosing which date movie to go to, probably offers a good compromise for both the guys and girls.
Stars: 21/5 / 5
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Chelsea Handler
Running time: 98 mins
Rating: M (Violence, sexual references & offensive language)
Verdict: Frivolous, fun nonsense