- Published on Wednesday, February 06 2013
- Written by Sarah Osman
For this week’s rom-com guilty pleasure, I decided to take a look at a movie that attempts to blend genres: This Means War. Starring Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, and Resse Witherspoon, This Means War is about a love triangle. No, wait, it’s about a bromance. No, wait, it’s about two spies trying to take down a bad guy. No, wait, it’s about Chelsea Handler being hilarious and raunchy.
Okay, I couldn’t decide exactly what category This Means War falls under, so I’m going to go with the one where Handler make ridiculously inappropriate sex jokes, because I found that subplot to be the most fun.
The main plot of This Means War opens with FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) both on the job in Hong Kong, trying to take down a supervillian named Heinrich. My initial reaction was that this was a satire on James Bond, but I honestly couldn’t tell if we were supposed to take their spy work seriously or not. And may I comment on the fact that Pine’s name in the film is FDR? And that it's never explained and no one brings this up at all? Not even a "Hey, you're named after one of our presidents!" I couldn’t help but laugh every time Witherspoon discussed her serious feelings for FDR. The name Tuck I could get behind (especially for a spy name), but FDR?! Come on. Who’s going to take that guy seriously (unless he's being played by Bill Murray)?
As in all spy films, Pine and Hardy screw up the mission and let the bad guy get away. Their tough-talking boss (because they have to have one of those) lets them have it, while we learn a bit about their future love interest, Witherspoon -- she is the head of a consumer product testing lab and has an ex-fiancé who broke her heart and is now with a new fiancée. She’s reluctant to get out there and try dating, so her super horny married girlfriend played by Chelsea Handler sets up a completely insane dating profile for her. (My favorite part of said profile: a picture of Witherspoon doing a keg stand with the tag “I’m looking for a serious relationship!”) Weirdly enough, Hardy is turned on by this profile that could potentially belong to a serial killer and the two go on a successful enough date. Afterwards, Pine picks up Witherspoon in a video store. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t picking-up-people-in-video-stores stop somewhere in the '90s? Nevertheless, Pine goes on a crazy rant about women liking chick flicks and cats (or something like that), and the two are now officially contenders for Witherspoon’s heart.
FDR and Tuck then embark in a full-on battle to win Witherspoon’s heart, and any sense of reality that the film had goes out the window! Witherspoon can’t decide between the two, because Pine has small, girlish hands (which, as Handler points out, equals a small package), and because Hardy is British. You really can’t decide between those two caveats?! Really?! Anyway, the guys decide to completely neglect their professional responsibilities and set out to sabotage one another’s dates using spy technology, which isn’t creepy at all. Nor is it creepy that they both break into her house to find out her likes and dislikes, or that they spy on one another’s dates, eagerly trying to figure out how to screw the other one over. Or that they put a planting device on Witherspoon like she’s some sort of evil robot they need to keep tabs on. No, none of this is creepy at all. At this point in the film, I really began to wonder if these two secretly wanted to date each other, but I decided that this would advertently ruin their bromance, so they decided to use Witherspoon as a shield to block their true feelings. (Maybe that’s what the sequel will be about?)
Of course, Witherspoon does find out that the two know one another and have been competing for her. She finds this out when they get into an epic fight in a restaurant, which is like a cross between Peter Griffin and the Chicken’s fight from “Family Guy” and Hugh Grant and Colin Firth’s fight in Bridget Jones Diary. Needless to say, it’s completely unnecessary and therefore hysterical. There is absolutely no reason for two grown men to have a full-on 300-style battle in the middle of dinnertime. My only complaint is neither had their shirt ripped off:
I won’t give away the extreme ending to This Means War, which feels like left-over footage from one of The Fast and Furious films (no, really!). For no apparent reason, Handler crashes her cute car into a river, which is awesome. I’m not sure if the film was made so that boyfriends would actually want to go see a chick flick with their girlfriends, to attempt the challenge of making a spy thriller rom-com, or simply because director McG woke up one morning and decided, “Tom Hardy and Chris Pine are beautiful men. Like, really beautiful men. Their beauty is so stunning it would appeal to both men and women. Let’s find a way to put those two together.” Either way, This Means War is a fun one to laugh at - -and it is also quite fun to have an excuse to blatantly ogle Hardy and Pine.
By far, my favorite part of the film is when Hardy gets hit in the crotch by a paintball. (Yes.) Perhaps this is because I have the maturity of a 12-year-old, but I laughed for what felt like twenty minutes at this scene. I couldn’t help but be reminded of “Man Getting Hit by Football”, AKA the scene in “The Simpsons” in which Mole Man gets hit in the crotch by a football and Homer laughs non-stop. I must agree with Homer’s declaration that it works on so many levels, which is probably why I laughed so hard at Hardy getting hit in the crotch by a football. See what I mean below:
- Sarah Osman, YH Staff
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