This Means War [2012] ★★

“This Means War” is the movie equivalent of fast food; familiar, enjoyable, but easily forgotten. If you’re a fan of the comedy generated by Reese Witherspoon and Chelsea Handler, you’ll either be the perfect audience for this movie or you may find the humor overly familiar. I’m not a diehard fan, and I found the film mildly amusing (at least for a while). Chris Pine and Tom Hardy (excellent in both “Warrior” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) play two best friends who fall in love with the same girl. That would be Reese. Both of them are CIA operatives, and as the rivalry between the men escalates and the pair begin to utilize their spy training to win the girl, this is where the fun begins. There’s also a subplot involving a bad guy who carries out a vendetta against the pair, but that’s another story.As far as comedies go, I bet you’ll have a pretty clear idea how this one plays out. That said, it isn’t bad. “This Means War” clearly relies on the charisma of its stars, and it shows. Reese Witherspoon gives it her best as usual.  Ditto Chris Pine, who is surprisingly persuasive and funny. As for Hardy, if you’ve seen him in “Warrior”, you probably know that he’s an actor who means business. Director McG (“Terminator Salvation) certainly keeps things afloat, at least for a while, before it grows tiresome after the hour mark. I guess this is when I realized how repetitive the story was becoming. Still, how well you enjoy this movie will have a lot to do with your expectations. If you’re craving escapist entertainment, “This Means War” will definitely please you. It’s not the best comedy around, or the most outrageous, but compared to the atrocious “Jack and Jill”, it’s a masterpiece.

Rating: 2/4

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