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Published on February 16th, 2012 | by simeon

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This Means War

It’s been said that all’s fair in love and war and never was the case more evident than in the tale of FDR and Tuck, two best friends who also happen to be partners and top agents at the CIA. After a covert operation doesn’t go as planned the duo find themselves riding their desks in the Los Angeles agency office much to their chagrin.

FDR (Chris Pine) is very confident ladies’ man while Tuck (Tom Hardy) is a divorced father of a little boy looking for “the one”. The more reserved Tuck decides to take his chances with online dating while FDR is content to cruise the local video store searching for his latest conquest. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), an attractive, independent woman who appears to have everything except a love life.

When Lauren encounters her former fiancé engaged to another woman, she vents her frustration to her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) who decides to take matters into her own hands and, unbeknownst to Lauren, produces an online dating profile for Lauren which matches her with Tuck. The first meeting between the two goes very well and they decide to take things slowly and see where this promising start leads. Unfortunately as Trish is heading home she stops in the same video store were FDR is on the prowl and the two mix like oil and water. Undeterred, FDR decides to pursue Lauren.

Eventually Tuck and FDR realize that they’re seeing the same woman and, not wanting to put their friendship in jeopardy, agree that they will continue to see her and let Lauren decide whom she prefers. The fact that neither men in this love triangle acknowledges that they know each other leads to some interesting complications, and naturally jealousies arise between the two friends.

With the full resources of the CIA at their disposal, Tuck and FDR, who’ve both become captivated with Lauren, soon take advantage of their job not only to spy on each other’s dates with Lauren but also to do their best to undermine the other and gain valuable information to help them appear more desirable to Lauren. As if this wasn’t complicated enough, an international criminal named Heinrich (Til Schweiger) is searching for the two agents to seek revenge. Constantly battling one another as well as the impending threat of Heinrich, FDR and Tuck embark on a hysterical and action-packed adventure that is one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies in recent memory.

Sure the film does take a few leaps in logic, such as the CIA turning a blind eye to their use of so many high-level resources in the world of dating but anyone seeing this type of film obviously isn’t expecting realism.
Directed by McG the film mixes action and comedy with a touch of romance and creates an entertaining formula. The three leads work exceptionally well with one another and Hardy and Pine are clearly stars on the rise. Handler does some great supporting work in the film and gets more than her share of laughs. This is definitely one you will not want to miss.

4 stars out of 5

Second Review by Amy Jo

What happens when two adrenaline seeking CIA agents don’t understand the meaning of covert operation? They are “grounded” at their director’s orders. Agents FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) end up having too much time on their hands. Tuck begins to ponder what his life has become and decides he needs to share it with someone Enter Reese Witherspoon as Lauren, a professional product tester whose love-life hasn’t exactly gone to plan.

Lauren’s friend, Trish (Chelsea Handler), creates an online dating profile for her, and she gets a message from Tuck; they arrange to meet. Concerned for his friend, FDR says he will wingman, Tuck agrees with restrictions and FDR ends up waiting in the video store around the corner from the meet. The coffee date goes well, but when Lauren goes to rent a video she runs into FDR and sparks fly. FDR and Tuck are discussing “their” respective girls the next day only to find they are one and the same: Lauren.

Hilarity ensues as the two misappropriate Federal resourcesand go to war for Lauren’s attention. In the meantime we get the benefit of Trish’s advice on dating; which doesn’t help.

Chris Pine and Tom Hardy have great comedic timing and play off each other well. Witherspoon is her usually excellent comedic self, this type of role seems like a second skin to her. Handler is funny, but like a watered down version of herself, and Bassett’s cameo as the hard-ass boss is good.

This Means War hasn’t gotten the press it really should have; trailers seem to have been lost in all of the other big name movies of the year. It is an excellent popcorn date-night movie to see.


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