This Means War is a formulaic, predictable action-rom-com that’ll win no points for originality, but it’s all so light and frothy and inoffensive that, chances are, you won’t get too bored.

The film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as deadly CIA agents and best friends, who look and dress like male models, and live in fancy apartments straight out of the pages of Architectural Digest. Reese Witherspoon, meanwhile, is charming and beautiful, and yet we’re meant to be believe that she’s desperate and lonely. When both spies fall for her, what follows is a goofy love-triangle in which both men try to sabotage each other’s dates using all the high-tech gadgetry at their disposal.

Like the popcorn you’re probably munching on, This Means War has no nutritional value, but it’s a painless enough way to spend a hundred-odd minutes on a day that you’re not exactly craving stimulating entertainment. The amusing bits here are the sabotage sequences, and the dirty jokes cracked by Chelsea Handler who appears as Witherspoon’s best friend. But what works above everything else is the chemistry between the two men, who genuinely appear to be enjoying themselves.

There’s a silly subplot about a Russian gangster out for revenge, but that really just serves as an excuse for some car chases and explosions in the action-packed climax. Although the resolution of the “who-will-she-pick?” dilemma feels contrived and underwhelming, it all wraps up so fast, you barely have a chance to complain.

I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for This Means War. It’s standard stuff…watchable only thanks to its charming cast. 


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