Is this a movie a single thirty-something should even admit to watching?
Well, you know me. I often go out of my way just to find bad movies. This Means War being a more recent mainstream title, I knew that it probably wouldn’t be a bad movie. Not to make excuses, but I think I just picked it because it was on Netflix and nothing else piqued my interest.
But hey, it’s got Reese Witherspoon. She’s pretty cute, right? And then we have Chris Pine who played Kirk in Star Trek. He’s hardcore! And then there’s Tom Hardy who played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Badass!
No? Yeah, I guess you’re right. This is kind of… shall we say… fruity (please don’t take offence; I’m only poking fun at myself).
So, okay, it’s basically a romantic comedy with a bit of action. It seems to be trying to please both sexes at once. Well, maybe not. Appease would probably be a better word.
This Means War reminds me of movies like Mr. & Mrs. Smith or The Tourist, though there are some differences (I’ll get to that in a second). It’s kind of a genre unto itself (or just a subset of a genre), and, I think it’s sort of doomed to perpetuate a ‘mediocre to pretty decent’ status for the rest of its existence.
Think about it. This brand of movie is always built around the sexual tension of the protagonists. It won’t ever be a mind-blowing Sci-Fi adventure like The Matrix; there isn’t enough room for that kind of depth. It will never be as funny as a movie like Happy Gilmore; the upper limit to comedy found in sexual tension is foreseeable. It will never be quite as fun as a film like Back to the Future; too many plot devices muddles up the romance.
I think you get the picture. For This Means War, its 6.4 rating on IMDb might be justified. It’s definitely not the worst you’ve ever seen, even if you haven’t gone to the lengths I have to find and screen bad movies. However, it’s altogether forgettable. Look, I watched it not that long ago and I’m already forgetting (oops).
If there’s anything unique about this picture, what This Means War did was turn the typical my-husband-is-a-spy or my-wife-is-a-spy or oh-my-god-we’re-both-spies plot into a two-spies-vying-for-one-woman story. Not much of a spin if you ask me, but after all that’s what spun content means.
So, basically, you get what you pay for. One beautiful woman, two handsome men. A little bit of character development (whoa, hold on there; doesn’t character development involve change?), a few ha-ha laughs (actually it was decently funny as I remember it), and a little bit of romance… kind of.
As a side bar, I really liked FDR Foster’s (played by Chris Pine) bachelor pad. Wow. I think I’m going to add that to my dream board.
Anyway, in short, this movie is not bad. It’s hard to get too excited about it, but if you like the genre, and you like some of the players, there’s nothing stopping you from checking it out.
AS Rating: (4.5 / 10)