Hardy ha- ha
THIS MEANS WAR ( M)
★ ★ ★ ■
Director: MCG ( Terminator Salvation ) Stars: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger
This is average
YIKES! This wonky welding of a chick- flick to a bro- mantic action thriller is very much the mess you would assume it to be – although it’s not entirely unwatchable when it doesn’t try so hard.
An ill- matched Tom Hardy and Chris Pine play secret- agent best buddies who fall for the same girl ( Reese Witherspoon, all pictured).
A lot of the humour is not as amusing as the writers obviously intended.
There just aren’t many gags in one guy getting all jealous and stalker- ly while the other is out on a date with you- know- who.
The scene where a whole lot of spies are staring silently at their surveillance monitors as a CCTV- ed Witherspoon is bedding Pine is simply no joke at all.
On the rare occasion This Means War does find its comedic mojo, it is Hardy ( best known for his intense performances) who is bringing the funny.
The scene where he single- handedly takes over a paintball centre is a brilliant one- off sequence. So too is Hardy’s courting of Witherspoon on a first date on a circus trapeze.
The guy could have a rom- com worth watching in him in the near future.
As for Pine, it is not unfair to suspect he only got the gig because Ryan Reynolds was double- booked.
The brawny action stuff in This Means War – sans a ditzily wired Witherspoon, often channelling Sarah Jessica Parker and Seinfeld ’ s Julia Louis- Dreyfus at the same time – goes much better than the murky mirth- making.
The climactic car chase on an unfinished freeway bridge is a stand- out, as is Hardy and Pine staging a two- man boxing tournament in a swank restaurant.