Feature

This Means War

Two spies vie for the same woman. Directed by McG

Directed by McG(PG-13)

★

This action romance plays like two different movies, “both lame,” said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. In the film’s A plot, two undercover CIA buddies compete to win the heart of the same woman, while in the B plot, they’re chasing an international arms dealer. But when that main plot devolves into an icky game of “voyeuristic one-upmanship,” the derivative feel of the proceedings becomes the least of the movie’s problems. Curiously, one of the few bright spots is the “affable chemistry” generated between male leads Tom Hardy and Chris Pine, said Claudia Puig in USA Today. Reese Witherspoon, the object of the boys’ rivalry, never musters the same best-buds vibe in her parallel scenes with a predictably crass Chelsea Handler. Still, most of the blame for the film’s incoherence can be “laid squarely at the feet of its director,” said Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post. This latest from the man who gave us the Charlie’s Angels reboots “proves to be little more than the canned Spam of the movie world—bland, overprocessed, and cheap,” even when it’s spending millions on “ludicrous” action sequences.

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