CIA Agents, FDR and Tuck are partners and best friends but when the lovely Lauren becomes a part of both of their lives, their friendship is pushed to the limit. Thinking that these two men are strangers and struggling to decide who she wants a relationship with, she decides to date them both in order to make her decision. Meanwhile, international criminal, Karl Heinrich is in pursuit of the oblivious FDR and Tuck out of vengeance for the death of his brother.

This Means War (2012) – Director: McG

Is This Means War appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 97 mins

Starring: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon

Genre: Comedy, Action, Romance

REVIEW

This Means War’ was universally panned by critics on its release and did not do particularly well at the box office. However, while not being the best of its type, this is a perfectly entertaining popcorn movie which does not require much thought or emotional investment. The three leads, Pine, Hardy and Witherspoon play likeable characters which the audience can warm to but the main issue with ‘This Means War’ comes from the general lack of plot. The love triangle doesn’t provide enough entertainment to be the only theme of the movie and the times when the characters are in any perceivable danger is downplayed to the point of barely being there.

It is unfortunate that, with the scope to do more with it, this movie wasn’t able to strike a better balance between action and romantic comedy. There were only a handful of characters to write and therefore more time could have been spent on the plot but the director, McG, seems to have been too preoccupied with the love triangle to concentrate on anything else. If you are looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy with a bit of action, ‘This Means War’ should provide plenty of entertainment, however this movie will provide little else to stimulate the senses.

IS ‘THIS MEANS WAR’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The cursing and dialogue provides the majority of the questionable content in ‘This Means War’. There is frequent mild to moderate cursing and blasphemy throughout the movie as well as constant moderate sexual references, usually from Lauren’s friend, Trish, but also between FDR and Tuck.

Trish has very definite views on relationships and dating which always revolve around sex. Lauren’s strong persona enables her to know what she wants, however the convincing nature of Trish’s comments could give younger viewers an unhealthy attitude towards adult relationships and what is expected of either party. Trish’s crude and crass language is often either shouted or spoken loudly in inappropriate places, such as a child’s play area and a grocery store but she is never reprimanded for this. It is also implied that she drinks heavily when she is twice seen to have alcohol in a child’s cup. One of these times is as she is about to start driving; she offers Lauren a child’s cup, telling her that it contains a screwdriver cocktail.

At one point in the movie Lauren decides that she will have to sleep with both FDR and Tuck separately so as to compare them. The plot then revolves around this element for the next 15 minutes or so,  involves some mild nudity, and also contains strong dialogue that goes on to suggest intimate acts that have taken place, or are to take place.

There is a small amount of violence in the movie and Heinrich is a particularly menacing criminal. The opening scene shows Tuck and FDR undercover at a party. Heinrich and his men start a shootout, killing several other criminals and innocent bystanders (some non gory gunshot wounds are seen). The party is being held on the top floor of a skyscraper and one character falls off the building, landing in a car on the ground below making the car crash and presumably killing its occupants. This part isn’t overly gory but he is seen to fall into the car from a short distance and blood splatters against the windows. Another scene is set at a children’s karate class during which one child is encouraged by his aggressive father to badly beat another child. This beating lasts several seconds and is quite unexpected. Towards the end of the movie, one character is shot and a ‘puff’ of blood spurts from his shoulder, although he shows some pain, he is not seen to suffer much.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

This Means War’ is an enjoyable comedy which will appeal to a mostly adult audience. There are plenty of genuinely funny moments and the entertaining characters keep the movie progressing at a good pace. This, however, is not a movie for children and despite it’s ‘12’ certificate rating, we would not recommend this movie for children under the age of 13. The very adult messages in this movie may cause some parents to balk at the idea of young teenagers being exposed to them. We would therefore advise an initial viewing by the parents to ensure that they are happy with the content beforehand.

  • Violence:  2/5
  • Emotional Distress: 0/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5
  • Sexual Content: 5/5 (mostly contained in the dialogue although there are also some bedroom scenes and passionate kissing)
  • Bad Language: 4/5
  • Dialogue: 4/5 (constant moderate sexual references throughout, one drug reference. One character threatens another by telling him that he will kill someone he cares about – “you’ll get her head in the mail”)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of love, romance, rivalry, friendship and marriage.

Words by Laura Record

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