February 26, 2024

This Means War – The spy that loved me

By Robert Lucas

 A spy, comedy, romance, action, movie? Sounds a little bit of a mouthful, so I suppose the reel question is, will This Means War be A Quantum of Solace or just some Spy Hard?

 A good way to look at This Means War, is as a film that has pitched its tent directly between two camps, one being the romantic comedy, the other being spy action. While This Means War mostly stays on the straight and narrow it does at times tip a little too much to either side. Mind it’s a hard hat to wear, if it went get too camp it would become a spoof but if it went too serious it would become Tinker Tailor. This Means War is neither of those films.

This Means War is the kind of movie that McG was always aiming for, when making the two Charlies Angles films. This Means War is slick in its directing, it knows where it’s headed at all times, never getting overly ambitious, staying sexy while keeping classy, and fast paced without becoming rushed.

The film is about, ultimately, a choice, the choice that Lauren (Reese Witherspoon’s character) has to make. If you had two suitors, what would you do? That’s the question of the film, much like Pride and Prejudice. However, that is never McG’s focus, it is only part of the grander machine.

This Means War is like a cup cake, you can put all the topping on that you want, but it will always feel a little bland when you get to the centre. That’s the issue I have with the film, it might look slick and nice and have a few laughs but in the end where’s the heart?

This Means War is a film that should have been stronger, it had good casting and a fine enough premise, it could have been so much more than it was. Yet another film by McG that lacks ambition.

This Means War is a film that tries to have its cake and eat it. It wants on the one hand to be a classical romance for the ladies, and simultaneously be an action comedy for the blokes. In the end it all feels a little bit too manufactured and ordinary.

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