Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Movie Review: This Means War (PG-13 - 97 minutes)

  • What makes a good Romantic Comedy?  In my opinion, predictability.  It is the only genre where you want it to always be the same:  the meet-cute, the dating hijinks, the trust-breaking big arguement that results in a breakup, and finally the big over-the-top gesture that results in the perfect happy ending.  There are several romcoms that have tried to switch things up - chances are you don't remember any of them.  What's my personal favorite romcom?  Tough call, I'm not a huge fan of them.  I find most of them to be a bit insulting. I suppose my favorite would be Return to Me:
  • Co-written and directed by the genius that is Bonnie Hunt, Return to Me is funny, sweet, touching, and hilarious.  It stars Minnie Driver and David Duchovny and if you've never seen it, you should.
  • This Means War is the latest offering in the romcom genre.  It's directed by McG (who did Charlie's Angles and the TV show Fastlane, which I loved).  It sets out to be an action romantic comedy - see, it brings something new to the same old same old!
  • Plot:  "Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman."  Chris Pine (new Kirk - like new Coke, but more palletable) and Tom Hardy (new Bane and Clone Picard) play the CIA agents who are best friends and partners.  They are in the midst of a big case in which they are going after generic European bad guy, german actor Til Schweiger.  They miss him, but they get his brother, giving him enough vengeance to stalk them the rest of the movie.  After their botched attempt, their boss, inexplicably played by Angel Bassett, benches them.  Meanwhile Reese (don't call me June Carter Cash) Witherspoon plays an uptight single lady who gets her profile loaded to a dating website by her married friend Chelsea Handler.  She preposterously ends up dating both guys, who find out about this fairly early on, and decide not to tell her they know each other, so that she can make the decision between them.  So of course, they use their spy skills and access to government weaponry and tools to try to outdo one another, because, why wouldn't they?
  • Everyone in the movie does a decent job - it's just that none of them are asked to do all that much, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Pine is good and may have a future in romcoms - although I would rather see many more Star Trek movies keep him busy.  Hardy is fantastic and maybe a better actor than what he gets to show in this.  He does play a divorced dad and shows more depth than anyone else in the movie, but again, not a ton of stuff to do.  Once Batman comes out later this year - he's going to be the talk of the summer - even though he tried to achieve that after stealing most of Inception, that is, the parts JGL didn't already walk away with (not walk so much as scramble around a rotating hallway with...). He was amzing in Warrior - see that if you haven't already.  Also - he was one of the best parts of Star Trek: Nemesis (the only good part?).  Reese Witherspoon...it's almost not fair for me to have an opinion on her, because I really don't like her, and can't get past that.  I don't have a good reason, I just find her really really really annoying.  She's fine in this - and believable as a woman who loves her job and has no time to date...but honestly, I would have preferred someone funnier, Rashida Jones, Olivia Munn...although I suppose that's not the right tone.  So, don't trust my opinion on that one.  Cheslea Handler is just in the movie.  I can't even say that she's playing Cheslea Handler, although she wasn't drinking and cursing, so mabe she was playing a watered down version of herself.  Til Schweiger has played many generic European bad guys so he's pretty good at it by this point. Angela Bassett?  Why was she in this?  And honestly, she seemed really angry that she was in it. 
  • The action sequences were good - the scams the two spies run on each other to ruin their opponents dates are funny - but you saw all the really funny bits in the commercials.  The movie moves fairly quickly, but I did find some pieces dragged on a bit.  What I found interesting was the end...I won't ruin it for you (but would I really ruin it if I told you what happened?) Slight spoiler alert here...she does choose one of the guys and the movie ends happy.  I think a stronger end would have been her choosing to be alone as a strong independent woman, but those types of women don't exist in the RomComs universe.
  • 5 out of 10.
  • Gained points for Hardy - I seriously am a big fan of his.  Lost points for Witherspoon - lots of points.  Lost points for Handler - lost points for everyone in the movie having the bluest eyes ever (color corrected?) and lost big points for Angela Bassett not enjoying this role at all, sheesh - at least everyone else seemed to enjoy it.
  • Bonus video:  The hallway fight from Inception.  It has nothing to do with this review - but thinking about it made me remember how mind-blowing it was.

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