June 9, 2023

“This Means War” has all the ingredients for a great film but falls short of its full potential.

Reese Witherspoon stars as Lauren Scott, a beautiful, blond consumer product tester who captures the hearts of two handsome CIA agents and best friends, FDR Foster, played by Chris Pine, and Tuck Henson, played by Tom Hardy.

Lauren’s best friend Trish, played by Chelsea Handler, signs up for online dating as Lauren to try to find her a date and ends up setting her up with Henson. After a wonderful night out, Lauren runs into Foster downtown and begins to develop interest in him as well.

Despite Lauren’s reluctance, Trish convinces her that she needs to take advantage of the opportunity and continue dating both guys after being single for so long.

The two men of interest could not be any more different. Foster enjoys living a fun and spontaneous life of a thriving bachelor while Henson lives a much calmer life, balancing work with family as he attempts to stay involved in the lives of his young son and ex-wife.

The two friends have no idea they are falling for the same woman until one day at work they decide to show each other a picture of their love interests and are shocked to see two identical photos.

Despite the awkwardness of the situation at hand, the two long-time friends set some ground rules and decide that they will not let the situation come between them, finally agreeing that they will both continue to pursue Lauren, saying, “May the best man win.”

Although Lauren is unaware of the friendship between the men, the guilt of simultaneously dating two people soon strikes her, and she decides to spend one more week dating both guys in an effort to make her decision of who she wants to keep in her life.

From here, the story picks up as the two men use and abuse their CIA training and resources to find out more about Lauren and sabotage each other’s relationship with her. This eventually leads to an all-out war between the two friends to keep Lauren’s heart.

Preoccupied by trying to win over the girl, the men neglect their CIA duties and end up finding themselves in a tight situation as a former target is after them. Because of this, Lauren finds herself in the midst of intense CIA action and, in the heat of a life-or-death situation, the danger forces her to finally make a decision as to who she truly loves.

The combination of action and romance sets out to appeal to all audiences, from the hopeless romantic to the action/adventure junkie. It appears to be the perfect date movie, but neither theme goes in-depth enough to satisfy, making it difficult for either type of movie enthusiast to become fully engaged in the film.

Though not graphic, the film also portrays small clips of unnecessary sexual content and morally unsound, shallow and confusing messages to the audience.

The film was not terrible, but spending money to go see this film on the big screen is not worth it.

Waiting until a rainy day when the film comes to DVD will be much cheaper, and without many incredibly high expectations may prove to be the best bet to avoid disappointment. Though slightly humorous, romantic and entertaining, “This Means War” won’t be up for Movie of the Year any time soon.

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