Romcoms. A genre that has perfected the art of deception, crafting each trailer into several minutes of heart-warming hilarity to con you into spending your well-earned money on a generic plot and sub-par acting. Once in a while, you'll be pleasantly surprised and actually enjoy the movie you've payed extortionate amounts to watch...
'This Means War' will not leave you pleasantly surprised, but rather un-entertained and disappointed.
Divorced father Tuck (Tom Hardy) and ladies man FDR (Chris Pine) are best-friends and colleagues at the CIA. When both men fall for Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), the two spies battle each-other in order to win her affection, putting all the tools they have at their disposal into practice to ensure they are victorious.
It is hard to determine exactly where this film went wrong. Tom Hardy has been fantastic in his recent films, with his co-stars hardly being incapable of acting. The concept was intriguing and the action was sure to draw in more male audience members than romcom's are used to.
One of the main problems was the lack of chemistry that the stars possessed with one another. Although the three main characters went on an impressive selection of dates that most audience members would be drooling over, there was very little chemistry between them. They were three very attractive and high earning actors, pretending to be in love with each-other, and it was hard to get that fact out of your mind. Trish (Chelsea Handler) and Lauren's dialogue with each-other was near enough unbearable. Her character is reminiscent of 'Bridesmaids' Megan, unflinchingly vulgar, but Handler's performance lacks the charm needed to pull off such a controversial character, whose sole reason for existing seems to be to deliver terrible sexual innuendos.
As if the terrible characterisation and complete lack of chemistry isn't enough to put you off watching this film, the plot is absolutely infuriating too. Out of a 97 minute romcom action film, there was only about 25 minutes of 'action', which happened to be lazily executed. Tuck and FDR were shooting bad guys at the very beginning in order to establish their characters, but the Russian criminal arc was forgotten about until the very end, and even then, it is painfully obvious that it was only picked up again to allow Witherspoon's character decide which man to date. Even when discounting the action side of the plot and focusing purely on the romantic-comedy aspect of the film, it was nothing special. The events that the screenwriters were expecting audience's to believe were ridiculous and frankly, insulting. Some viewers have pointed out points that insult our intelligence here.
Although I love the art of cinema, escapist movies such as romantic-comedies are an essential watch from time to time. But a romantic-comedy that offers no laughs and no heart-warming love-stories is destined to fail from the off-set.
Give it a miss.