Friday, May 25, 2012

Movie Night Recap: This Means War

I have noticed that a big part of how much I enjoy a movie depends on expectations. If I expect a movie to be lame and it surprises me I enjoy it twice as much whereas if I expect a movie to be awesome and it's just okay I find myself twice as disappointed.

I have been looking forward to watching This Means War for awhile now, so when the hubs offered to rent it I was definitely excited and spent most of the day anticipating snuggling up on the couch with the hubs, a bowl of ice cream and an awesome romantic comedy/action-light film. I expected a clever plot and great acting. I was hoping for some above-average cinematography and a killer sound track.  I've seen the trailer a couple times so I expect there will be some clever use of spy-gadgets and a couple fight scenes. After all the basic plot of this movie is that there are two spies who accidentally start dating the same girl.

This should be good.

This pretty much sums up how I felt as the movie was starting... 

...but this is how I felt when it was over

The action scenes in this movie are really long, unspectacular and confusing. There is supposed to be some witty banter and clever moments but because the spy characters were both so poorly defined I just kept waiting for the action scenes to be over and the hubs fell asleep. There were no "oh my goodness what is going to happen?!!" moments and there were too many "what just happened?!!" moments for me. Their spy awesomeness consisted almost entirely of video surveillance. Seriously - that's it. There was one scene near the end that was impressive, towards the end of the final car chase, with a split second of suspense. Beyond that it was very disappointing in the action/adventure department.

As we all know one of the most important elements of a good romantic comedy is the girlfriend.You know, the woman who allows the heroine to air her thoughts and usually is the strongest comedic element. But I really did not like this girlfriend. She is supposed to be some kind of a stay-at-home mom stereotype and she's just awful. She talks about sex all of the time and is practically an alcoholic. It's super annoying and pretty offensive and really not funny at all.

This Means War is not a total loss - the lighting in this movie is magical and there were a couple moments, especially at the beginning of the spies' relationship with Reece Witherspoon's character that I did enjoy. The clothes hair and makeup are all really well done. I just wish that the characters had been given a little more time and space to develop into something deeper - instead of diving into the cliche and predictable rivalry of these two immature characters.

For a very thorough plot summary you can read the This Means War Wikki
Me: frustrated & dissapointed
The Hubs: fell asleep


  1. Good review! I had wanted to see that movie when I saw the trailers, but I'm glad I read this. I usually am disappointed with the movies I pick lol. I do not like Chelsea Handler, the character that you described does not come as a surprise to me at all. I'm sad for Reese Witherspoon though, I really do like her, she's just hit and miss with her movie choices.

  2. I actually liked it. You're right though. Anticipation is a big part of liking a movie or not for me. I never realized that. I see Reese Witherspoon movies as mediocre so I wasn't expecting much and there were a couple of sevens that were enjoyable. I also watched it with another woman and we laughed at scenes together. Sometimes watching a movie with my husband is not fun, especially if it's in the chic flick category. Which I would put this movie in.

  3. I have not seen it. I am pretty critical for movies and I did not think this one looked good. eventually we'll rent it, and I honestly suspected I might secretly love it (the way i did Knight and Day) because my expectations had been so low.
    After reading this, I'm thinking maybe not...

  4. I love Reese Witherspoon, and I was looking forward to this one, too...I'll move it down the list.


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