Oh McG. McG, McG, McG, what have you done?
You’ve succeeded in making a film with some of Hollywood’s most highly-respected actors – some of my favourite – and made me hate them all. A Lot. The plot is simple. Hardy and Pine are CIA operatives, best friends and all round ‘American heroes’ who, through an unbelievable ‘coincidence’, find themselves both dating Witherspoon and competing for her affections. Doesn’t that sound hilarious and brilliant?!! No. No it does not.
Its dawning on Chris Pine just how bad this film is..
Now I could have got on board, with what is arguably one of the most insane ideas for a film since Adam Sandler thought it was a good idea to put on a dress and play his own sister, if the set up led to a funny, action packed, heart-warming movie. Instead what we are left with is a ridiculous film with terrible ideas and horrible characters doing unbelievable things to each other. In the quest to win the girl they systematically bug her house, her car, each other’s houses, each other’s cars, background check her life, background check her friends and family, and stalk and manipulate her. In order for them to achieve any of this they must run sizeable task forces, of which I’m sure the SEALS that found Osama Bin Laden would have been proud, and must use intelligence tools that are so ridiculously far-fetched if they actually existed then al Qaeda would be nothing more than the name of a Basildon curry house.
The leads do their best to pick some superficially tender moments out of the car wreck screenplay, but even Hardy and Witherspoon can’t save the film from the main problem; the film itself. The two lead men are selfish, borderline socio-paths whereas Witherspoon’s character single handily sets women’s rights back two decades. The plot is bad, characters insanely dislikeable and the execution itself is loud, heavy-handed and insulting to anyone with an IQ higher than a five year old. There is nothing original or exciting about this film and the editing is clumsy at best. This has none of the whimsy of a truly good Spy spoof such as Naked Gun, and none of the edge or charm of action films such as Die Hard. This Means War clearly is war against clever writing, decent character development and intelligent film making. Well done McG. You won.