I had heard good things about THIS MEANS WAR…
But after leaving the critic’s screening last week I had to wonder if the people who’d given me that information had actually seen the same movie I’d just sat through?
Then there was the full page advance display ad for the film in last Sunday’s New York Times. The sub-headline read: "The most fun you can have at the movies."
Did someone really say that about this movie? Unbelievable.
On closer inspection—and in much smaller type—the quote was attributed to one Maria Salas. Not the New York Times, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Time, Roger Ebert—or even Kansas City’s own Shawn Edwards. But Maria Salas, representing something called terra.com.
Man-oh-man, did I completely misjudge how awful this flick was? Apparently not, because spotting a review of the film a couple of days later in The Hollywood Reporter brought back a sense of sanity.
Allow me quote from that review:
"This perfectly dreadful romantic action comedy manages to embarrass its three eminently attractive leading players in every scene, making this an automatic candidate for whatever raspberries or golden turkeys or other dubious awards may be given in the future for the films of 2012."
THIS MEANS WAR is a lame romantic screwball comedy starring Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as two best buddies who also happen to be CIA agents. Best friends that is until both pretty boys accidentally fall in love—make that lust—with Reese Witherspoon.
With each of the two hunks now pulling out high tech CIA tricks and gadgets to mess up and spy on the other’s dates with Witherspoon – the enemy now being each other!
Meanwhile Witherspoon’s oversexed and married-with-children best friend Chelsea Handler keeps on dishing out lustful advice.
But 20th Century-Fox had to cut Handler’s risque dialogue to get this R-rated picture re-rated PG-13.
As for director McG, his previous CHARLIE’S ANGELS plays like Oscar material by comparison.
No edge. Just silly fluff, as I quote once again The Hollywood Reporter:
"Some films have certain scenes that need to be redone, but on THIS MEANS WAR the whole picture should have been sent back for a reshoot."
I’m reluctantly raising 2 out of 5 disappointing fingers.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES: Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ Am & Fm and at 8:20 a.m. on 1660 RADIO BACH. And anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.