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This Means War: A Funny Action Comedy with a Fun Romance & Brilliant Ending

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This Means War movie poster - movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine & Tom Hardy

This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. Image: moviepostersdirect.co.uk

Plot

CIA Agents Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Frank – played by Chris Pine) are partners and best friends- they consider each other family despite having totally different outlooks on life and romance:

Tuck is divorced with a kid, but he hasn’t given up on romance. He wants to find the right woman to share an immense, permanent bond.

Frank on the other hand is the perfect womanizer. He’s gorgeous, a smooth talker and he always has the perfect strategy-compliments of being a good agent. And while Tuck is an equally kick-ass agent, he prefers honest, serious relationships – although he has to lie about what he does for a living.

But things get complicated when the pretty, successful but romantically jaded Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is forced back into the dating pool by her married friend Trish (Chelsea Handler.) But Lauren’s outrage about Trish’s putting up an online dating profile for her disappears when she sees that a “travel agent” named Tuck seems interested.

Frank, however, is not willing to put Tuck’s heart on the line by letting him go dating on his own.  After all, there’re lots of crazy women out there, and he is out of practice. Tuck unwillingly lets him to be at a safe, unseen distance – just in case.

The date goes great, but unfortunately before Tuck can let him all about it, Frank meets Lauren – and is totally attracted to her no-bullshit, I-don’t-date-players-like-you attitude.

When they boys find out they’re dating the same woman, they decide to “let the best man” win, as they both seem to like her a lot. But unfortunately their spy habits turns the deal into “let the best agent” win as they start spying on and sabotaging each other’s dates.

Lauren wouldn’t take Frank seriously, but a chance encounter forces her to give him another chance. Then she gets into a dilemma however when she realizes that she is dating two great, gorgeous guys. She decides to choose after a couple of more dates.

So who is going to win as both men are playing “dirty”? And will their friendship survive their increasingly growing rivalry? And how the hell are they going to protect Lauren when they are too busy to notice that their ultimate CIA target is on the right track and dying for revenge?

*

Why You Should See It:

This movie is just so much fun. It is a lot more hilarious than it is romantic, and the fighting scenes are really cool – and when the fighting gets funny, it is still really cool because let’s remember, we have two badass fighters instead of Colin Firth’s Darcy and Hugh Grant’s Daniel “fighting” on Bridget Jones’ Diary (they fought quite clumsily in both movies.) Don’t get me wrong, I love those scenes, they make for great comedy – but two agents fighting is a lot sexier than watching two clueless men fighting.

As for the ending, let’s say there is more to it than a happy ending. And the very last scene might be my ultimate favorite in the entire movie.

If you were Lauren, who would you pick?

OK, this might suit my dating blog more, and I’ll post a related article there too. But both guys have their flaws and dealmakers so let’s have fun. My point of view:

( I do give a bit about the tricks and events, so it might be a bit spoilerish).

My turn-offs from Frank (Chris Pine)

–          I hate clubs – I can’t stand the music played there. It’s a nightmare for a rock addict.

–          I’d love it if potential Mr. Right hadn’t slept with 500 women.

Sure, your past is past- but a guy having slept around that much is not a very impressive trait. I get that he is gorgeous, but I really hope he doesn’t tell Lauren- if he is going to be all romantic and loyal it is great- but I’d not be happy knowing my boyfriend slept with pretty much any girl he wanted.

–          His taste in music. Sade? Really?

–          His taste in movies. Titanic? You’ve got to be kidding me! I guess that he was in the mood for sappy and cheesy and overdramatic – but he could have just as well opted for a much more heart-felt romance with a better story. Titanic? Seriously?

–          He is too freaking arrogant! He looks great and he knows it, but at least he can fake a little modesty.

–          Pretending to like the art when he doesn’t.

–          Pretending to love animals.

 

(Not that I care about Lauren’s taste in art or am that keen about pet shelters, but I’d be disappointed to find out we didn’t have that much in common after all.)

 

My turn-offs from Tuck (Tom Hardy)

–          He is divorced- which would bring me to the question –what did he do? Was it a mutual screw-up or did he cause it?

–           And he has a kid, and an ex-wife- and if things worked out, it would be a little complicated.

–          Not to mention that his wife is gorgeous and they don’t seem to be completely over each other.

Turn-ons – Frank

–          The moment Frank sent the stewardess home.

–          He actually tried to be a gentleman when he took her home. It lasted for 2 seconds, but in all fairness, she didn’t want him to be a gentleman.

–          He is a badass agent- I love all the fighting stunts.

–          He’s a great friend – for the 95% of the time anyway.

–          When he is in love, he really is in love.

–          He’s the perfect “fake” boyfriend to drive your ex crazy in about 2 minutes.

–          He is good in bed. And he can do it 5 times in one night. Hallelujah!

–          Did I mention hot? He’s also charming and he can be very nice and cute when he wants to be.

 

Turn ons – Tuck:

  Great guy.

– A decent dad.

– He is a lot of fun.

– I love safe and earnest, but I never thought he was safe- first date was about acrobacy after all.

– I should mention sexy and cute, which is a pretty irresistible combination.

– He is very funny. Half my favorite lines come from him.

– Him being British is a perk, not a flaw!

– He actually is a gentleman- he’d let you take control over how fast you want to go.

-When he chose fun dates for Lauren, he didn’t fake interest in anything. He just chose something she’d love, but he’d also enjoy. Remember the convertible ride?

– He is a pretty cool agent. I loved how he got rid of the cameras when he wanted to.

– I’m sure there is more. But you get the idea.

 

Does it look like I’d pick Tuck?  Well, I’d- had it not been for the whole ex-wife/kid/unresolved feelings bit, as well as the several redeeming qualities they threw in for Frank (the whole time at his grandma’s house was “emotional porn”(Tuck’s words) indeed. Throw in the stewardess rejection and looking genuinely hurt when she was with Tuck). But when you add it all up, Frank actually does seem to be a pretty strong rival to me.

Yes, I was lusting after them both, though I rooted for Tuck for the 85% of the time.

And during that 85%, I was lusting after Frank. Though I didn’t/couldn’t picture myself dating him. He seemed like the guy even the most emotional and romantic of girls would want to have on speed dial as a booty call. And then I’d want to date Tuck, and just Tuck for good (as I said- had it not been for the ex-wife (Abigail Spencer and the son.)

You can write your vote in the comments. I’d love to hear your preferences and why.

But the ending was perfect, and I couldn’t have written it better myself. And by the ending, I do mean all the scenes starting at the showdown at the restaurant.
*

Why the ending is awesome: it ends with action, and not the romance (though we get to learn about the romantic decision too right before.)

I always make fun of a friend of mine for seeing Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona as the ultimate “romance” movie- and I totally get it. Trust me. Two girls, one guy, all meaningless in a cool city. And I enjoyed Vicky Christina Barcelona as a movie- just I didn’t like any of the characters, including Bardem’s. No, wait –especially Bardem’s.

But This Means War might very well be a girl’s Vicky Christina Barcelona. Two hot guys fighting for one girl, being romantic and fun and adventurous – and not to mention their ass-kicking skills. I had a great time with all the action and eye candy, and I also enjoy seeing Witherspoon on the screen.

See it. It is in the league of Knight and Day – the romance is there, but so are humor and action. And if someone deems this one a chick flick, I know that we have totally different taste in movies. It’s OK, as it is all relative.

But I freaking loved this movie because it made me laugh out loud, a lot!

ONLY Disappointment:

Angela Bassett didn’t have a bigger role and I’d have loved to see her bring her A-game from Strange Days and beat the hell out of the boys for abusing the agency resources.

*

Favorite lines:

Tuck or Frank: I love you, man

– Tuck or Frank: I love you too.

-Lauren: Oh my god! I’m yoko

(though I don’t think that Paul McCartney ever had a thing for Yoko. But she did break the band so this line did crack me up.)

*

Lauren: (on why she doesn’t like the idea of online dating) I might end up in a body suit or in somebody else’s trunk.

Trish: You’re being dramatic. That only happens to one in 20 girls.

*

Discussing pros and cons of the two:

Lauren: FDR has these tiny, like, girl hands. Like little T-Rex hands.
Trish: Eeww gross that means he’s got a mike and ike for a penis.
Frank: [observing from the ops center- to Tuck] you know that’s not true.

(then he goes on to remind how Tuck has seen it in Bangledash and it is not true. But just as Tuck is enjoying this too much, Lauren says what is wrong with Tuck):

Lauren: He’s British
Now it’s Frank’s turn to crack up.)

*

Directed by McG, and written by Timothy Dowling,  Marcus Gautesen and Simon Kinberg.

*

Also with Tom Hardy:

Inception

Also on Reese Witherspoon:

Penelope starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy

 

Recommendations for the people who enjoyed This Means War and/or people who love the combination of action/romance comedy.

Bird on a Wire starring Mel Gibson & Goldie Hawn

Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz

Air America starring Mel Gibson & Robert Downey Jr. (no romance, action/comedy with some drama)

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18 Responses to “This Means War: A Funny Action Comedy with a Fun Romance & Brilliant Ending”

  1. Karine Robitaille says:

    AMAZING MOVIE, AMAZING ACTORS…TOM HARDY AND CHRIS PINE…HOTTIES…SO DAMN HOT…THEY ARE SUCH GREAT ACTORS OF COURSE REESE ALSO 🙂 TOTALLY LOVE YOUR BLOG MY FRIEND..YOU DID A GREAT JOB 🙂

  2. zoey says:

    Thanks so much. Would love to have you back here.
    I loved This Means War, and even though I admire Hardy’s versatility, I hope he does an entertaining action comedy again. What’s your favorite scene in this one?

  3. Karine Robitaille says:

    Thanks for having me in here… 🙂 i will surely comeback 🙂 Hardy is truly amazing…he can do drama, action, comedy…i want him to do more action comedy that’s for sure 🙂 so many scenes that i love in this movie… i love when they both try to sabotage their dates with Reese..lol…cracks me up…let me think about one in particular and i get back to you..i have only two minutes left on computer until it log off by itself..lol

  4. zoey says:

    Do come back after you think of more.:) I laughed so hard during a lot of scenes, and I have so many favorite lines. But as I said, the very, very last scene makes me laugh the hardest. 🙂

    What are your other favorite action comedies? I’d have to say Red, Bird on a Wire & Knight and Day to name a few.

  5. Karine Robitaille says:

    Hey sweetie…i am back..lol..Well i must say that like yourself i laughed at many scenes and quotes…i loooove the restaurant fight…when Reese’s character is in the restroom and the two guys fights.. 🙂 When Reese’s says that she is Yoko because the guys says they love each other..hahahaha..very funny one also…and damn…both of them are just hotties…Chris’s eyes and smile, Tom’s accent (huge crush on men with accent) i just love a man with an accent 🙂 that is so sexy 🙂

    OH my god..so many action comedies movie…Bird on a wire…classic one..still one of my favorite to this day 🙂 Tango and Cash also love it, Lethal Weapon saga, Knight and Day wasn’t bad either and Red..oh my god…laughed so hard John Malkovich’s character cracks me up everytime…to name only them indeed 🙂

  6. zoey says:

    Welcome back!!! 🙂 The Yoko bit did really crack me up, but yeah, so did a lot of scenes. Tango and Cash, Lethal Weapon series are all really hilarious.
    But as far as action/romantic comedies go, This Means War is how it should be done. The movie had me from the moment they started to allocate men to their “individual” “national security cases.” I also loved each sabotage attempt, as well Hardy’s skills to find and destroy cameras;)

    I love accents too, but I do love an American accent too – especially if it is coming from a guy looking like Chris Pine and acting like FDR….

  7. Karine Robitaille says:

    HEY YOU!!! I’M BACK!!!! LOL… I love everything about This Means War…i must admit i would’ve had a problem making a choice between Chris Pine and Tom Hardy..they all have their qualities…Tom Hardy’s lips and the sweetness in his eyes…omg..totally melting…with his voice and accent of course…Chris Pine let’s face it…he does have a beautiful smile as well and he is pretty good looking also..lol…Cant wait to see the second Star Trek movie and for Tom i can’t wait to see Lawless…god it looks damn good..love when he says in the trailer : I’m a Bondurant. We don,t lay down to nobody…good god..the voice he takes when he says that…here i go again..lol…totally into him now…since Inception 🙂

  8. Karine Robitaille says:

    i love him in Warrior also…he is such an amazing actor…i rented Bronson..gonna watch tonight…i didn’t recognize him at all on the DVD cover…he is so buff in it… Chris Pine is so good in Unstoppable also…love that movie 🙂 About This Means War…love Hardy’s skills also but i have a little problem when they are going to paintball…he is taking this too seriously..lol..it was funny to watch but it would.ve been a turnoff for me…lol…but he can redeem himself anytime though 🙂

  9. zoey says:

    Ha ha… the poor guy only did that because he overheard her saying “safe” is a turn-off. I hate girls like that. That’s how guys defend being unreliable – because girls find it hot. No, they don’t. Well, the sane ones don’t anyway. But it did add good humor to the story as we the audience know how “safe” he really is 😀

    I think I will watch This Means War again sometime soon. That movie was a blast. Hope to write an action rom/com that entertaining one day.

  10. zoey says:

    Welcome back!!! I loved Hardy’s first date!! Was awesome.

    I haven’t seen the first Star Trek but decided to watch it after seeing the trailer. I have never been into the old Star Trek saga, but the trailer looks amazing and I do love pretty much anything J.J.Abrams does.

    With Pine, I’m also looking forward to see People Like Us. Looks really good, and I like Elizabeth Banks too.

    Lawless looks like it will kick-ass, but honestly I’d see it without Tom Hardy too. Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce is a combination that shouldn’t be mixed. 🙂

  11. Karine Robitaille says:

    Hey sweetie…I’m gonna try again and do a short comment to see if that works out 😉 Hardy’s first date…awesome!!! 🙂 Definetely must watch Star Trek with Chris Pine 🙂 can’t wait to see People like Us…I’ve missed my chance in movie theatre 🙁 Lawless…AMAZING!! Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce steal the movie 🙂 Although you hate Guy’s character so much in it…he plays him very well..but got i hate his gut.. 🙂 loooove Tom’s character…badass but with a little soft side *sighs*. Too bad we don’t see enough of Gary Oldman though 🙁

  12. zoey says:

    To see enough Gary Oldman, the best option is to watch The Scarlet Letter. I don’t care how so many people don’t like it- but not only is he playing an adorable character with good looks, he is the leading male character.:)

    I’ll see Star Trek first, and watch the others when I buy the DVDs.

    What are your favorite Oldman movies?

  13. Karine Robitaille says:

    Hey dear sister friend 🙂 I’m back and the reason it didn’t work the last time i wanted to comment…it was too long..lol…So…to see enough Gary Oldman…i agree..the Scarlet Letter is truly an amazing movie…i also loooved Dracula. He succeed by making you “care” for him in it…he is amazing. And i totally looove him as Sirius Black 🙂 I’m a huge fan of him with long black hair.. 😀

  14. zoey says:

    Welcome back! 🙂

    I think I just like him with shoulder-length hair with some nice beard, color not really important 🙂 I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter series (I like my witches/wizards accompanied by werewolves and/or vampires, not so much on their own.), but I love how he looks as Sirius. 🙂

  15. Karine Robitaille says:

    Hey Hey there my dear sister friend 😀

    Just wanted to let you know that i’ve rewatched THis Means War…still loooove it! And by seeing it a second time, i know i said that i would not know who to choose between Tuck and FTR…well…this time….i think i made my choice…as hot and yummy FTR is…my choice would definetely be Tuck…the entire first date *melt*, his smile, his accent and the one thing i think he has that Chris doesn’t have…the sweetest look in his eyes a guy can get..lol…i mean…FTR..amazing blue eyes but Tuck…sweetness in his eyes…*melt*…and I agree with u that witches and wizards there must be also vampires. i love how Gary looks as Sirius Black 🙂

  16. zoey says:

    Welcome back!!! I should watch it again soon too!

    After you have seen a fun movie twice or more, you tend to come back for the funniest bits or the selected scenes, which kind of makes you forget how re-watchable the entire movie is .

    I re-watched Someone Like You again last night- and the whole movie is hilarious. Well, I wouldn’t have liked it so much otherwise, but sometimes I tend to replay the scenes with Hugh Jackman more often the others. 🙂
    Have you seen that one? It is one of my favorite romcoms.

    Well, I was Tuck all the way until the ending. The situation with his wife totally gained my approval for Lauren’s choosing FDR. Otherwise it would have been the cliché of gullible-woman-picked-the-smooth-talker-over-the-great-guy all over again.

    FDR is yummy, and he did gain a lot of points, but if we were keeping score about everthing, Tuck would have gotten like 90 and him 70. 🙂

    Speaking of vampires, Jonathan Rhys Meyers will be playing Dracula on a new NBC show. How do you feel about him?

  17. Karine Robitaille says:

    Hey Hey..thanks for having this often on this blog..lol…it seems i can’t get enough of This Means War boys and movie 😀

    You are so right about everything..it doesn’t matter how many time you see it…the more you watch it…you see more of your favorite moments, scenes etc…

    Someone Like You..OMG..one of my favorite…Hugh Jackman…mmeoowww…One hilarious scene..when she sleeps in his arms and wake up and thinks he is still asleep..omg..the way she tries to get out of bed without waking him up..cracks me up everytime..lol…

    And in This Means War..the only reason i love the ending it’s because he ends up with him wife…very happy about that..but still…i’m still a Tuck girl 😉 LMAO..Tuck scored many points for me too…no worries there my friend 😉

    Didn’t know about Jonathan playing a vampire in NBC tv show…WHEN ?? i have to look that up…I’m like Jonathan a lot 🙂

  18. zoey says:

    Me neither. I love a movie you can watch over and over again, and yet never get tired of it. 🙂

    I don’t know when exactly Dracula will start, but this is the official link: http://www.nbc.com/dracula/about/

    If you ask me, it is also time they made Jason Behr (lead alien in Roswell) a vampire too. He is gorgeous, looks really young and has played an alien and later a shapeshifter. Would be a shame not to make him a vampire too. Did you watch Roswell?

    And I’m so happy to find a fellow movie nut that shares a similar taste with me:) This is my Someone Like You Review- hope you like it.:d

    http://pinartarhan.com/blog/someone-like-you-old-cow-new-cow/

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