Peter Travers of Rolling Stone found this "action-spiked romcom [...] death-sentenced by a lack of humour, heart and a coherent reason for being. I could say more, but do I really need to?" Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times considered the film "an incompetent stupid action comedy" that was "so bad it's nothing else but bad" and observed that Witherspoon lacked the "irresistible raw sex appeal" to be "convincing as the woman [Hardy and Pine] go to war over." Richard Roeper of ReelzChannel called the film "one of the worst movies of this or any other year" and mocked Handler, who looked old, "lost," and "haggard" while delivering "her lines in a kind of flat monotone."
Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly "enjoyed everything that's all over the place about the finished product" and stated that while it "may have been hammered together by brute Hollywood force, [...] there's this going for it: It's game to throw in anything that'll keep the motor running." Tom Long of The Detroit News characterised the film as "unpretentious goofiness" with "some nice light yuks" and believed "the whole sublimely stupid mess works." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times warned that "if you can get past the gross invasion of privacy," there "is some bittersweet fun peppered by bursts of sharp patter," especially from Hardy and Pine, who electrified "the screen almost any time they're sharing it."
Here's how creepy it gets. They divert apparently millions of dollars worth of high-tech electronic surveillance equipment to monitor Lauren's private life every moment of the day. This means they can watch each other trying to seduce her and also eavesdrop as she gets advice from Trish (Chelsea Handler), her BFF. Often they review the surveillance videos together. Is there something about that not entirely consistent with a heterosexual competition? Lauren is obviously only the nexus for their plexus.
FDR's nickname is a reference to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as this was his well-known nickname as well. When Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) meets FDR's grandmother, she says, "So you're the girl who's keeping Franklin busy?" The ending credits list his surname as Foster. Hence, his real name is Franklin Foster.
After principal photography had wrapped, director McG and his teams went to work film editing, music scoring, sound mixing, and putting the finishing touches on the movie's visual effects. Later, during this post-production period, they showed the movie to select audiences to gauge reactions and fine-tune the film. The screenings yielded outstanding scores, which revealed that the movie played to men, women, singles, and couples. This, and the ensuing positive word of mouth, led the Twentieth Century Fox movie studio to pick the unexpected 2012 year release date of Valentine's Day, which falls on February 14, which was a Tuesday. Most films debut in the U.S. on a Friday, in time for the weekend. But for McG, the holiday release seemed perfect. He pointed out: "After all, everyone needs a little action on Valentine's Day!"
Director McG said: It will come as no surprise that Pine and Hardy handled the high-octane spy action and stunts with skill and daring. But This Means War (2012) audiences will see a movie "first": Reese Witherspoon mixing it up with the boys in full throttle action mode. Not only does she get to drive at excessive speeds on a military racetrack in a drop-head coupe, she flew on a swinging trapeze, and donned a mask and firearm for an intense, ruthless game of paintball. "By the end of the movie, Reese is at the center of the action."
This spy film inverted a common paradigm of the James Bond movie franchise where the character frequently had two significant relationships with two Bond Girls in many Bond movies. This was commonly reflected in movie posters for Bond films where the tuxedo clad character would be seen positioned between a Bond Girl on either side. This movie reversed this methodology by having a character, a non-spy, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), who is the equivalent of a Bond Girl, and dates in the movie two secret agents, and in film posters for the movie was seen positioned standing in the middle between the two attractive male spies.
Tuck's real name is listed as "John Harrison" on the dating site. That makes this the first time that Chris Pine clashes with a character called John Harrison in a movie. Pine played Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), where he battled with Khan Noonien Singh (Benedict Cumberbatch), who used the alias John Harrison.
In one scene, FDR is watching the 1997 film Titanic. The director of photography of this film, Russell Carpenter, was also the director of photography on Titanic, and he won an Oscar for Best Cinematography on that film. Also, this film was released in the year 2012, and the 1997 film was re-released in theaters in 3D this same year to commemorate the centennial of the Titanic's sinking in 1912.
so uh towards the end of this I decided I couldn't stand to see Tom Hardy get rejected so I looked up who Lauren picked and guess what!! Hahahha she went with Chris Pine so I'm not finishing this fuck you Reese Witherspoon I hate you
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)
Great review! I really liked this movie, moreso than I think I expected to. It does have some content issues but I think the likeability of the leads helped me overlook some of those (which, thankfully, are *mostly* resolved in a satisfactory manner). This aside, I think my fav Reese flick is still Sweet Home Alabama. :)
The fact that Chris Pine was in this movie first caused the preview to catch my eye-Tom Hardy was an added bonus. I laughed through the first preview, but I don't know that I would actually like it-I usually prefer squeaky clean romances.
Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: The head of FDR's surveillance team relays a text message Lauren sent to Trish, and spends the rest of the brief scene spelling everything in chat speak until FDR tells him to S-H-H-H-H. Actor Allusion: At two different parts of the movie, FDR claims to be captain of a cruise ship. It's the first reply that justifies the trope: "Permission to come aboard, Captain?" Nana's been taking care of FDR after he lost both parents at a young age. Hardly the first time either. In one scene, the Beastie Boys song "Sabotage" is playing in the background until Tuck shoots FDR with a tranquilizer dart. "Sabotage" was prominently featured in the Star Trek reboot films that Pine stars in. Agents Dating: The movie is pretty much centered around this. Lauren decides to have sex with two different spies who are pursuing her, to see which one of them is better in bed. After they found they've been sleeping with the same woman, they wage an epic battle against one another. All Girls Want Bad Boys: Accidentally implied with Lauren's choice to date FDR instead of Tuck. Amicably Divorced: Seems to be the case between Tuck and his ex. She's not his biggest fan, but she isn't nasty to him at any point when she comes to pick up their son. It is further enforced by her agreeing to go out to dinner with him after Lauren chooses FDR. And the Adventure Continues: FDR and Tuck talking about FDR's encounter with Tuck's wife (before the couple met) as they begin their next mission. Bad Liar: Tuck and FDR accuse each other of being this when their attempts at keeping their surveillance of Lauren secret from each other fail. Belligerent Sexual Tension: How Lauren and FDR's relationship starts out. Betty and Veronica: Lauren is torn between the sweet Tuck and the flirtatious FDR. Big Damn Heroes: After Karl kidnaps Lauren and Trish, the boys steal a Jeep and go after them, completely ignoring Karl's demand for them to meet him at an abandoned warehouse. Blatant Lies: Every excuse Tuck and FDR use to convince the surveillance crews to help them spy on Lauren. Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Tuck runs out of ammo in two fight scenes. Both times, FDR passes him a magazine. The second time, he scolds Tuck for not carrying extra magazines like he does. Boyfriend Bluff: How Lauren and FDR eventually reconcile their differences enough to actually date. Bros Before Hoes: In an alternate ending, both Tuck and FDR decide their friendship is more important than who ends up with Lauren. Bullying a Dragon: The over-aggressive father at Tuck's son's karate class. Seriously, who talks shit to Tom Hardy about his kid? The Charmer: FDR. Tuck is gorgeous, but not as flirtatious as FDR so he doesn't get noticed as much. Chekhov's Skill: Lauren's extensive knowledge of consumer products pays off when when she tells the boys to shoot the headlamps of a (otherwise bulletproof) car, thereby triggering the airbags. Also, Tuck trusts her to drive the Jeep because he took her driving on one of their dates. Cock Fight: Tuck and FDR try to avoid this for the most part, but the more emotionally invested they become in Lauren, the more they argue and eventually get into a fist fight. Curb-Stomp Battle: When Tuck decides to try out paintball, he completely demolishes everybody on the field all by himself. Cynicism Catalyst: The death of Karl Heinrich's brother Jonas sets him off on revenge. Damsel in Distress: Lauren when Karl catches up to her. Trish too because she happens to be in the same car at the time of the kidnapping. Deadpan Snarker: Both the boys, but FDR moreso than Tuck. Did Not Get the Girl: Tuck. Though he reconciles with his ex and they are together at the end. Disney Villain Death: Jonas is killed this way in a fight with FDR. Enhance Button: Played straight when FDR has one of the techs do magic enhancing to reveal the bad guy stalking Tuck. Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Karl Heinrich is seeking revenge for the death of his younger brother Jonas. Exact Words: During their first date, Lauren asks Tuck if he's ever killed someone with his bare hands. He says no... not this week. Expy: FDR is unnervingly similar to Chris Pine's portrayal of Jim Kirk in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot. Fake-Out Make-Out: Lauren pulls one with FDR to make her ex jealous. It works. Hilariously. Fanservice: FDR getting shirtless, and later naked, for the girls (and some guys); Lauren in her undies for the guys (and some girls). And Tuck's arms in general make him borderline fanservice too. Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: When Trish makes Lauren's online dating profile, she makes sure to have Lauren's picture in a keg stand so as to show off Lauren's flexibility.Trish: You're flexible. Guys wanna know that you're flexible and good at gymnastics! Flipping the Bird: Tuck flips off FDR's surveillance drone. "Did he just give our bird the bird?" Freudian Excuse: FDR's parents died in a car accident when he was a kid, and "he was never the same since." Friends Turned Romantic Rivals: The film revolves around two fellow CIA agents and friends, Tuck and FDR, both falling for Lauren. The two compete for Lauren's affections, even using CIA technology in order to best the other. In the end she chooses FDR. However, Tuck gets back together with his ex. Groin Attack: Completely accidental, but Lauren shoots Tuck in the crotch with a paintball gun. Head-Tiltingly Kinky: The agents watching FDR and Lauren imply that the two put on quite a show. Here We Go Again!: The film ends with Tuck and FDR, now engaged to Lauren, on another mission as they prepare to parachute out of a helicopter. FDR confesses to having slept with Katie before she even met Tuck, but no longer feels guilty about it because Tuck had sex with Lauren. Tuck, however, reveals that they did not go all the way and angrily tackles FDR out of the helicopter. Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tuck and FDR. Of course, them ending up dating the same woman puts a significant damper on their relationship, but they eventually manage to patch things up during the climax.FDR: I missed you! Tuck: Missed you, too! FDR: I love you, man! Tuck: Love you, too! FDR: We're back! Hidden Depths: Late in the film, Trish while helping her son with something, tells Lauren how much she loves her husband, and that she shouldn't choose the better man, but rather should pick the man who makes her a better woman. Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: FDR is almost an entire head taller than Laurennote Chris Pine is an average height at 6' tall, but Reese Witherspoon is only 5'1". I Need a Freaking Drink: When Lauren believes that Tuck and FDR are meeting for the first time, she makes some lame excuse to leave for a moment, and then asks them to order her a drink. Something in a shot. Internal Reveal. Katie and Joe discover what Tuck actually does when footage of the car chase is broadcast on the news. The Reveal Prompts Romance: Katie invites Tuck to dinner, and the final scene confirms that they're back together. Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Played for Laughs. FDR and Tuck are shown engaging in a rather childish argument over Lauren as they prepare to torture one of Karl's associates with pliers. Jerk with a Heart of Gold: FDR comes across as this to Lauren. The viewers know he's a lot sweeter than he lets on, but he doesn't show his nicer side to Lauren until later in the movie. Karma Houdini: FDR and Tuck. They break into Lauren's apartment, tap her phone, set up cameras everywhere, record themselves having sex with her, and place trackers on her. Neither of them face serious consequences for their actions. Letting the Air out of the Band: During a date with Lauren, FDR is trans-darted by Tuck, and the background music ("Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys) starts getting slower, and slower, and slower until finally FDR falls unconscious. Made of Explodium: During the chase scene, the boys shoot out the SUV's headlights, detonating the airbag and causing the SUV to slam into a stationary object and blow right the Hell up in a fiery explosion. Ford Exploder indeed. The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Implied to be the reason things didn't originally work out between Tuck and Katie. She warms up to him a lot once she realizes he's not a travel agent. Mr. Fanservice: Tom Hardy. Chris Pine. In one movie. AT THE SAME TIME. Noodle Incident: Whatever happened in Kandahar, mentioned briefly during a fight. Also, whatever happened in Bangladesh. The Obi-Wannabe: Lauren most likely wouldn't be in this mess if she weren't following Trish's horrible excuse for guidance. The Oner: The scene with the boys setting up their surveillance cameras in Lauren's home while she dances in and out of the room is all one take. Only Known by Initials: FDR Foster, obviously. Also somewhat of a Shout-Out to former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was also known by that moniker (his full name is "Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foster"... you'd call yourself FDR too). Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: A very odd example with Tuck; Tom Hardy uses his native British accent throughout the film, but once he starts yelling at FDR in the final scene his accent goes completely off the rails and becomes almost unintelligible. There are also a couple of other brief moments throughout the film where he slips into the fake American accent that he's used in other films for a word or two. Playing Drunk: The boys try this to catch a bad guy who knows Karl Heinrich. Pair the Spares: Tuck and his ex get back on good terms by the end of the film after Lauren chooses FDR. Alternately, in one of the alternate endings, FDR gets back with his flight attendant female friend... and her female co-worker. Running Gag: "Stop repeating everything that I say!" Shirtless Scene: FDR has a couple, but oddly, Tuck does not. Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Trish, played by Chelsea Handler, takes over every scene she's in and makes it hard to realize Lauren is even there. This is mostly due to Handler's outrageously over-the-top lines. So Much for Stealth: The boys are really not good with keeping their missions covert. Averted with the scene of them setting up surveillance in Lauren's house, as she walks past them multiple times but remains blissfully unaware of their presence.The Chief: [brings a picture of a body resting on a crushed car up on a screen] This was supposed to be a covert mission. Stalker with a Crush: Both of the men vying for Lauren dance into this trope. Two Scenes, One Dialogue: The scene of the boys giving orders to their respective surveillance crews. Was It All a Lie?: Lauren doesn't know what to think when she finds out Tuck and FDR are best friends. 781b155fdc