Friday, February 17, 2012

‘War’ game, or the spies who snagged her

Admit it. The first time you saw “This Means War’s” trailer, you thought that two hot, younger-looking men fighting over a character played by Reese Witherspoon was preposterous.

Be that as it may, Witherspoon, while not as gorgeous or as sexy as most of the younger, current crop of rom-com leading ladies, still makes her irrepressible presence felt. Undeniably charismatic and talented, the actress animates the movie’s generic loser-everygirl, Lauren, whom the secret agent besties Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine) are fighting over.

The agents coincidentally get interested in, and covertly spy on Lauren using their agency’s resources.  She starts dating and gauging both men, clueless to the ongoing, escalating competition.

“This Means War’s” situational humor is pretty predictable; its dialogue is quite simplistic, although there are moments when some characters engage in spirited banter. The participation of comedienne-host Chelsea Handler, as Lauren’s friend Trish, adds considerably to the equation. She’s easily the funniest thing about it, also because most of her lines were supposedly ad-libbed.

Anyway, you don’t really root for one or the other, as both agents are likeable, so the rivalry’s resolution comes off as a bit iffy. Aside from that, it’s a pretty enjoyable, if ultimately contrived action-comedy.

“This Means War” opens Feb. 22 in Metro Manila. 

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