It has been said (originally by Miguel de Cervantes) that all is fair in love and war. Although, it is possible to take both of those sentiments to their extremes. In 2012, a film both presupposed and showcased what would happen when two friends, armed to the teeth with government weapons and training, fought on the battlefield of love, This, in turn, made a rom-com with action and firepower, a film that meant war.
Two hotshot government agents, One American, aptly named FDR, and a Brit, named Tucker, live a life of high-octane action and suave seduction, yet they both single and looking for the one. They both end up on a dating site and meet Lauren Scott. Lauren dates both men at the insistence of her friend Trish. Once they discover they are competing for the romantic interests of the same woman, causes them to take the competition literally. If this didn’t seem complicated enough, this is all intertwined with an international criminal who wants their blood.
Being government spies, FDR and Tuck enjoy lavish lifestyles and take Lauren on wild and exotic dates, as a result of which, the film indulges in spectacular locals and shots that serve as eye candy for the audience, yet even these pale in comparison with the eye candy that is the acting talent. Both FDR and Tucker are played by heartthrobs Chris Pine and Tom Hardy… but they are not just there to be looked at, FDR has this arrogant and untameable charm going for him, While Tucker is there for the audience member who prefers a more caring, sensitive potential relationship partner, complete with a British accent. Both are fine actors in their own right and work well as rivals here. Lauren has some shining moments, her oblivious dancing to the hit song “This Is How We Do It” is a notable well-executed scene, but Reese Witherspoon plays her relatability and manages to convey the conundrum of the situation to her audience.
Without giving the game away, the choices that Lauren makes are really interesting, while it’s certainly wouldn’t have been the choice, that this Humble reviewer would have made, but it’s great that the film took a risk with the plot and to not be so formulaic. This Means War also breaks the formula down by having an intriguing espionage revenge mystery thrown in as well. It runs in the background of the rom-com aspects but rears its head form time-to-time to keep things interesting.
By taking some well-calculated bets with the formula, This Means War manages to take home the title of a crowd pleaser, that doesn’t let the more concerning repercussions of the plot spoil the enjoyment of the light-hearted caper. It’s a rom-com for both Guys and Dolls, where either gender can enjoy the show. Despite what you may think, This Means War makes some interesting bedfellows.
If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!