PG-13, 2 hr. Directed By: McG. Release Date: Feb 14, 2012.
It’s very true that McG has released some terrible movies on an only partially suspecting public, but This Means War, wasn’t one of them. The movie certainly has its faults: it’s utterly predictable, poorly researched, and filled with decent actors rehashing the same roles from other movies (every movie ever for Reese Witherspoon and James T. Kirk for Chris Pine). This isn’t going to be a movie that makes me hold my breath next February. Like every McG movie, well, ever, this isn’t going to be a movie that makes me hold my breath come next February when the Academy will be doing its consideration. But, this was one hell of a fun movie, I’m going to say it. I enjoyed this in a way that I haven’t enjoyed that many movies this year.
This may be the best date movie ever, and I’m a little bitter that I ended up seeing this by myself. I’m also bitter that I’m new to Dallas, and that I haven’t established myself socially yet, so I’m totally going to miss this best date movie ever opportunity… unless something crazy happens in the next few weeks, which I doubt.
So what did I like? I actually thought they did a decent job creating a believable set up for the love triangle between Hardy, Pine, and Witherspoon. The action sequences were pretty decent, and there is not only a great fist fight between the two leading men, there are a few good shoot outs, and the dialogue and scenarios are frequently funny. So funny, in fact, that the guy behind me was laughing to the point where he started to stifle himself and his laugh sounded like he was a six-year-old girl. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a “comedy” where the audience was actually laughing. The last time may have been… Bridesmaids, but I might be shunning something that came between then and now. I’ve seen the critics’ reviews, and I’m now convinced that they’re a bunch of bozons. At some point you have to counterbalance the technique with the effect, and This Means War certainly delivered what I needed today: some pure joy. It’s been cold, gray, and rainy here in Dallas, and I wasn’t in the mood for serious.
With the exception of the first twenty or thirty minutes, this was a blast. Is it an intellectual challenge? Nope. Did I get sucked in to the performances? Nope. But, again, there was enough fun here to make me forget all that. I may consider buying this when it comes out on DVD, and lately, that’s been a rare deal.