Mediocre movies aren’t mediocre. They suck. They suck, because they do nothing to impress, but they aren’t doing anything to be overtly terrible either(i.e., Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance). This Means War does exactly that: it’s not terrible, it has some fine acting, but it’s plot and dialogue has been used over and over again in previous and better iterations, and as an outcome, the movie just sits there, it fails to entertain, fails to wow, incites very little laughs, and just kinda blows.
This Means War is about two CIA…guys, workers, analysts, agents, whatever you want to call them, they beat people up in the opening scene but spend the rest of the film behind a desk and exchange snappy dialogue, further confusing the audience as to what exactly these guys do. Anyways, these guys (Tom Hardy and Chris Pine) end up falling in love with the same girl(played with minimal effort by Reese Witherspoon, who actually has an Oscar), and shenanigans ensue, and, well, the title kind of lets you in on what’s going to go down.
There are some good things about this movie. I like these actors, especially Pine and Hardy, who let their charismas’ shine here, and it’s a movie that really works with these actors in these roles. Witherspoon does nothing here, instead of working with what she’s got like the two leads do, she just lets the worst of the film become her, and decides not to inject her own acting ability to liven up the quality of her character. The action scenes, while minimal, are pretty fun too, although many of those sequences(and heck, most of the movie) seem like a straight up copy of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. There are some good snappy lines of dialogue here and there, but for the most part, it falls flat.
There is a major component of failure here, and that’s the film’s lesson. It’s a film that tells you that you can have two male lovers, and everything will be alright, but even if things don’t workout with one girl, you’ll always have a fallback plan, even if that is your ex-wife. This is not only freaking ridiculous, but it’s a terrible lesson to teach the young mindless viewers of this film.
To sum it up, this movie isn’t absolutely terrible. But it doesn’t do anything to impress the viewer, and it comes off as just disappointing dreck. I wish I could see these actors in better roles, but in this economy, you’ll do anything for a paycheck.
Critics’ Score (www.Rottentomatoes.com): 25%
My Score: 6/10