English Title: This Means War.
Production: USA, 2012.
Release Dates: 30.01.2012 (UK), 17.02.2012 (USA).
Russian Distributor: 20th Century Fox CIS (14.02.2012).
Genres: Action / Comedy / Melodrama.
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Til Schweiger.
Running Time: 98 minutes.
On the February 17th of 2012 a new action comedy opens worldwide in theaters. It is titled This Means War, review of which will also unveil its Melodrama features telling a story about the love triangle formed by two spies.
Joseph McGinty Nichol or simply McG is one of the most notable directors in Hollywood in terms of ups and downs in one career’s history. Nevertheless, McG releases his new comedy named This Means War (2012). During his school years he tried to become a singer with a Pop group, but the idea failed, so he decided to try himself as its manager. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in psychology he found an opportunity to work as a photographer, then was writing songs, producing various projects and even filming more than fifty music videos for several music industry stars, including Korn, Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, The Basement Jaxx, The Offspring and others.
Favorable contracts later on provided more opportunities to shoot expensive TV commercials, what in turn led McG to the professional Film Industry with big companies willing to hire him for their projects. However, most of the latter ones got delayed or cancelled due to various reasons, but sometimes it was the fault of the aspiring Director himself. He often tried to work in many directions at the same time, while losing the ability to concentrate the efforts and reach the desired result. Sometimes McG followed his emotions like at the time, when he refused to fly across the ocean due to aerophobia, resulting in a new Director’s contract being lost for the Superman Returns (2006) movie.
Perhaps, for a man, who prefers not to use planes or feels himself uncomfortable, while staying in a large crowd, it will be incredibly hard to achieve something, where flying trips to the sets abroad can be considered as a part of normal duties. However, McG here showed his talent elsewhere, while actively producing more titles for the TV market. Here two series stand out, particularly: The O.C. (2003-2007) and Supernatural (2005-2012), respectively. This Means War is also not his first big screen challenge.
Once McG clearly stated his goal: to produce three new projects a year and direct at least one of them, but now he devotes time equally to these tasks. In the beginning McG was invited by Drew Barrymore to direct Charlie’s Angels (2000). This film earned a lot in the worldwide box office, but the sequel was less fortunate. Another action Comedy titled Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003) ended leaving its with even more expenses, but still same revenues.
The next his movie Terminator Salvation (2009) was considered the worst in the entire Quadrilogy by many critics, though still it was profitable. The next big premiere of McG is the new comedy This Means War, which faced several challenges on its way to the cinemas.
Getting ready for War
Invitations to join the cast of This Means War were turned down by a few Hollywood stars, including Sam Worthington, Bradley Cooper and even Seth Rogen. However, the filmmakers replaced them with a charismatic duo of actors, which have a role of Enterprise’s captain in the feature film Star Trek (1979-2013) series. Tom Hardy played it in the film titled Star Trek Nemesis (2002), while Chris Pine portrayed young James T. Kirk in the franchise’s reboot known as Star Trek (2009).
In a new comedy they take on the roles of tough CIA agents: Tuck and FDR Foster. These two can solve any problems. THe movie starts with a fast-moving shooting sequence looking as a kind of a spy thriller parody, though you shouldn’t judge this film by its few first minutes, because the whole idea of the plot gets disclosed somewhat later, and already at the Melodramatic level. The additional Action component is addressed mainly to a male audience, though shows one of the weakest film’s parts, which cost around 70 mln. USD.
Both spies are very good friends, though they often make a lot of new enemies. In This Means War film it happens to be Heinrich performed by Til Schweiger – a German star known for several scripts, directing various titles and doing a lot of acting work. Here Heinrich looks for taking a revenge for the death of his brother. He does it very slow and hesitantly, what does not strengthen this part of the entertainment, as well as rare lines delivered by the harsh CIA superior Collins played by Angela Bassett.
On the other hand, on the romantic comedy field this film achieves some success. In its rather short duration of 1,5 hours, yet perfectly enough for the genre’s standards, the film still manages to tell a funny story about how these two dangerous spies decided to forget about covert operations and focus on improving personal lives. At the same time one blonde girl Lauren Scott dreams of getting a new boyfriend. She is presented by Reese Witherspoon in her usual brand style.
Lauren works in the consumer research and services company testing the convenience of many new goods appreading on the market. She is full of flirtatious glances, some uncertainty, allowing to relax only at home, and clearly shows her career achievements. Such a character requires a motivator to move in any new directions, and it turns out to be her friend Trish played by Chelsea Handler, who takes this role. Though originally written for Barbra Streisand, the film This Means War had to change a lot of initial filmping plans.
Trish is willing to make Lauren happier. For that she creates a page for her on a dating website, where the girl is found by Franklin and Tuck. When they realize that they are going to start a relationship with the same woman, both agree to make her choose, while not losing the hope to make the best impression on her firs. This Gentlemen’s agreement is soon breached, and each of them rushes forward and throws everything to damage the rival’s dates. The agents are ready to employ all their subordinates and technical means to succeed.
All for Love
Surveillance experts in the This Means War comedy do not ask too many questions, trying to do their best to help their superiors to win and offering very exotic ways to advance ranging from employing a reconnaissance aircraft up to the fake kids. In the course of events both Franklin and Tuch characters do not even notice, how they are turning from deadly spies to regular people facing joy and dismay because of the new feelings at the same time. Trying hard to impress the girl as much as they could, they are ready for nearly anything even to engange in a fierce fight with each other. The sets were cleverly chosen for each scene, especially the agents’ residences selected with great attention to the characters’ lifestyle details.
The motion picture does really include a pack of funny and hilarious episodes. For example, in one of such moments Tom Hardy’s hero clears out a paintball ground from all opponents shooting everywhere and throwing paint grenades to shelters, while eliminating all the possible threats in the area. Though he still forgets that there he is opposed not by the criminals, but by ordinary family vacationers resting with kids. Outside of his work, Tuch is a good father driving his own son to the karate’s classes, while he is already parted with his ex-girlfriend. Franklin is a complete opposite of him, preferring the life of a nasty bachelor. Lauren unintentionally makes them both change in certain ways to discover more human traits.
The complete soundtrack for the movie titled This Means War has been written by a well-known Canadian composer from Hollywood – Christophe Beck. He also scored other major projects of the action comedy genre in the past years, including such films as The Hangover Part II (2011) and Tower Heist (2011). More details about the new album are not yet known, because this time its producers have decided not to rush with the release before delivering the story to the theaters first. However, the tracks «Woman» (2005) by Wolfmother (Australia) and «The Girl from Ipanema» recorded by Astrud Gilberto from Brazil, which are accompanying the official trailer video might not appear in the final list.
This Means War is good at mixing comedy not with action, but with a romantic melodrama. There is something to be laughed at, and the Chris Pine and Tom Hardy duo worked well enough to make it happen. However, the funniest scenes of this movie were already unveiled in its official trailer, and McG as the Director didn’t try to push them further advancing the best parts of the plot even more.
This Means War Trailer
Movie Score by GameScope:
7.0 / 10