“This Means War”: Just a corny catastrophe

“This Means War” puts a tacky, macho CIA man spin on a story that has been told countless times before.

Lauren, played by Reese Witherspoon, is a single woman whose best friend Trish, played by Chelsea Handler, takes Lauren’s love life into her own hands and makes Lauren a profile on a dating website. Lauren reluctantly goes on a date with the calm, collected British dad Tuk, played by Tom Hardy, and hits it off.

She meets FDR, played by Chris Pine, in a matter of minutes after her date with Tuk, and FDR tries to woo her with his smooth talking. FDR shows up to Lauren’s job the next day and insists on taking her on a date. Lauren does not know she has just gotten herself into a love triangle with two best friends who use their CIA skills to try and win Lauren over.

When Tuk and FDR realize they are both chasing the same woman, they decide to let the best man win. They let Lauren continue dating them both without ever telling her they know each other. They each use their spy skills to help themselves and hinder the other’s progress with Lauren.

“This Means War” would benefit from just being a romantic comedy or a spy movie, not both. Integrating the spy theme into the film adds a cheesy, unpleasant atmosphere and comes across as tacky and cheap a majority of them time. The spy plot, focuses on catching the criminal Heinrich, played by Til Schweiger, is haphazardly placed and comes to a crashing halt with all loose ends coming together all at once.

Witherspoon’s performance is annoying at times, and her acting seems forced during some scenes. Hardy and Pine outshine Witherspoon throughout most of the film with solid acting. Hardy’s role as the sensitive, single dad is a strange role for him, but he pulls the character together nicely.

Handler is the shining gem of the film. She comes off with countless, hilariously crude remarks, many of which had to be cut to allow the film its PG-13 rating. Handler’s dirty mouth and blunt honesty, that she packs into her short amount of screen time, is almost reason enough to go see the romantic comedy.

“This Means War” is a nearly catastrophic romantic comedy gone macho that is corny, but oddly entertaining.

“This Means War” is rated PG-13 for some sexual content including references, some violence and action, and for language.