The curse of McG strikes again in this largely diabolical action-comedy.
Not even the welcome distraction of Chris Pine’s world-beating forehead projected on a 20-foot screen is enough to leaven the crushingly awful latest from Hollywood’s own mini-monikered dud machine, McG.
With a plot that feels like it consists of equal parts Dumb & Dumber and True Lies, the execrable This Means War sees Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Pine) as two covert CIA spies who wage war against one another in order to win the hand of a woman (Reese Witherspoon) they appear to both be dating. At first they decide to let her choose between them. Yet, both spies eventually decide to employ their various tools of espionage to sabotage the other’s romantic endeavours.
McG’s utter incompetence as a director is once again on full display: his garbled action set pieces comprise of intense close-up of flailing body parts and the, ahem, "humour" is both hideously misjudged and incredibly dull. Tasteful gags about rape and a nasty strain of crass sexual humour are wildly inappropriate, especially for a film with a 12A certificate.
Incidentally, Tom Hardy, an actor better known for his intense psychical screen presence rather than his comic timing, is by far the best thing in this grubby affair. He displays the same roguish charm that we saw (albeit briefly) in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, and it’s obvious why he’s currently such a big attraction. And yet, it’s somewhat typical of this lopsided mess that the least funny actor on paper is the one who’s scoring the most laughs.
Huge segments of the film pass by without any reference to the villain of the piece, played by Til Schweiger, whose raison d’etre is to tie the film together and give our hero a common enemy. Chris Pine may have proven himself to be a perfectly serviceable performer as the young Kirk in Star Trek, and Reese Witherspoon may have been scintillating in Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line, though this sleazy, crude and charmless film is one that everyone involved would be advised to stricken from their CV.
The dreaded McG is at the helm! Can trio of more-than-credible actors pull up his slack?
With a laugh quota of just above zero, the presence of the ever-awesome Tom Hardy is the sole saving grace.
No. More. McG. Please.