Beyond the Books

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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 11:35 p.m.

What We’re Watching

Photo used under the Creative Commons License

Hatchet reporter Julie Alderman shares her latest movie experience.

This Means War” (2012)

“This Means War” has big stars, action, comedy and even a bit of romance. The one thing this film is lacking is, well, a punch.

The film stars Tom Hardy as Tuck and the swoon-worthy Chris Pine as FDR, a best friend duo working together as CIA agents.

When Tuck and FDR are grounded in Los Angeles to work behind desks, they both unknowingly fall for the same woman, Lauren, played by Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon. Deciding to let the “best man win,” the two agree to continue seeing Lauren without telling her of their connection to one another. Their friendship becomes strained as they battle for Lauren’s affection – literally. All the while, car chases and shoot-outs punctuate the “emotion” of their dilemma.

In the end, this movie comes down to the predictable plot: Does the pretty girl choose the ladies’ man or the safe bachelor?

One of the film’s major shortcomings is Lauren’s character. Witherspoon has a number of Larry David-esque cringe-provoking moments that are almost rendered ineffective because she’s so adorable.

The film’s best asset is Chelsea Handler, who plays Lauren’s best friend. Handler essentially plays a watered-down version of herself, giving the audience a number of genuine laughs. I personally would have liked to see even more of the dry comedy we all know she’s capable of delivering.

As for the cinematography, transitions between scenes are often abrupt and choppy, adding to the film’s overall silly feel.

Going into “This Means War” knowing it will be utterly ridiculous is the best choice. You will come out entertained. If you go in looking for something with substance, you might be disappointed.

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Action
Director: McG
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Chelsea Handler
Release Date: Feb. 17