[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=8814&w=o[/img]Title: This Means War
Starring: Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger
Directed by: McG
Written by: Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 22, 2012
HTS Overall Score:77.5
CIA agents Tuck (Hardy) and FDR (Pine), best friends and partners in the agency, are sent on a covert mission to stop Heinrich (Schweiger) and his brother from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. When the mission goes south and things get out of hand, Heinrich escapes only to have his brother thrown from the top of a building to his death by Tuck. The consequences of Tuck and FDR’s actions force the CIA to give them field suspension and temporarily do deskwork. Unfortunately, they were not made for deskwork so do other enjoyable time-wasters. During this time Tuck decides to sign up for an online dating service. At the same time, a workaholic, test survey consultant, by the name of Lauren (Witherspoon) also is signed up by her best friend, Trish (Handler), on the same dating service website. Reluctantly, Lauren decides to utilize the resource placed before her and finds Tuck and arranges a meeting.
Tuck looks to FDR, who is a lady’s man, for advice as he goes to meet Lauren. As a supportive best friend, FDR decides to play Tuck’s wingman from a nearby video store. Tuck is supposed to call and let FDR know if he is needed to step in or if everything is in the clear. When Tuck and Lauren meet they immediately hit it off and things go wonderfully as they laugh and joke with one another, all the while getting acquainted with one another. When their meeting comes to an end, Lauren decides to go to the nearby video store where she happens to run into FDR. FDR is immediately struck by her, but she is immediately aware of his dating style and Lauren brushes him off. FDR decides to find out more about her and pursue her, not knowing that this is the same girl that Tuck is dating. Both Tuck and FDR are ecstatic to show one another who they have met and when they do, they find out that both are in pursuit of the same woman. Both of them want to be respectful to one another and decide to have a gentlemen’s bet to see who Lauren will choose. As these two competitively try to win Lauren’s affection, they find their friendship torn apart.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=8816[/img]There are definite major problems with ‘This Means War’ if you break things down. There are just a few aspects of the plot that were kind of loosely thrown into the film that don’t quite gel. In general, the premise of the movie is somewhat outlandish, but I still found myself entertained through the entirety of the film. My wife and I found ourselves laughing out loud at several parts, but then we found ourselves rolling our eyes at others. Still, the onscreen dynamic between Tuck and FDR is portrayed very well by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. Reese Witherspoon’s character in this film is forgettable and Chelsea Handler’s part in the movie is regrettable. If you plan to see this movie, check your brain out at the door and you just be entertained.
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and language
I was torn on whether to be more on the generous side of the grading scale for ‘This Means War’; while it is a great looking video transfer it just misses being a stellar viewing experience. When I say generous, I am just referring to an extra half a star that this transfer teeters on receiving. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great looking transfer; it just lacks in a couple of areas seen in more recent releases. Resolution is top-notch and is certainly the best thing the video transfer has going for it. Details, especially in some of the wide cityscape shots, are quite good; along with detail and texture in the closer shots are satisfactory as well. Closer shots are not as resolved on a couple occasions, but overall it is still quite good. Colors are bold, but seem a smidge unnatural. Chris Pine’s blue eyes just looked a bit bolder than they should, as did some other colors throughout the film. Fortunately, skin tones don’t really take a hit by some of the unnatural hues. Contrast and black levels are satisfying and definitely accentuate the better aspects of the transfer. Again, I may sound a bit contradictory from my review and the actual score, but ‘This Means War’ sports a very solid 4 star video transfer.
The audio portion of the film fares just as well as the video. The DTS-HD Master Audio track given to this release certainly does a good job for its purpose, but it just lacks in an area or two. First off, the LFE is certainly present throughout the film, but most of it is used to support the film’s score. Atmospheric ambience doesn’t seem too prominent for the majority of the film, either. For most of the dialog-driving scenes background noises didn’t quite seem to present themselves; however, for action sequences all aspects seem to ramp up together. Action sequences certainly don’t leave a lot to nitpick. Surround usage picks up quite nicely as glass and particles shatter wildly. Gunfire and ricochets also fill the surround speakers during the action sequences. Low frequencies ramp up and support the action on screen quite nicely, but don’t really seem to get to subsonic depths. Overall, it’s a sufficient audio track for this kind of film.
• Audio Commentary
• ‘Bachelorette Party’ Deleted Scene
• 3 Alternate Endings
• 6 More Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Alternate Opening
There seems to be a level of expectation, or lack of expectation, when McG makes a film. I didn’t quite know what to expect with ‘This Means War’, but I still couldn’t help be very interested in seeing this film. This film wasn’t well received by many, but in my opinion I found it entertaining, despite being a relatively flawed film. I thought the dynamic between Tom and Chris was certainly the most memorable aspect of the film. Ms. Witherspoon’s performance is sufficient, but even though she is the lead actress, I felt her character to be just fluff on the side. No offense to Ms. Witherspoon, but I think most anyone could’ve been in that role and it wouldn’t have mattered much; I think this is likely due to the writing and maybe the direction of the film itself and not Reese herself. The worst addition to this film is Chelsea Handler. She just seems out of place and brings the movie down. Overall, I found the film to be funny and entertaining and I thought it was worth a viewing, but I can’t necessarily recommend it more than just as a rental.
Recommendation: Rent It!
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring