This means war is marketed as a romantic comedy but it’s actually part of a different genre known as the “paycheque movie”. It’s three stars –two of whom can be amazing and one of whom is Captain Kirk– all took this, you can bet, not because of the amazing story but because they needed a pay day.
We start out in Hong Kong where we meet our heroes, Bane and Captain Kirk. We’re told that they are secret agents and that they are best friends and that they are great at their jobs. I say we’re told this because none of it is apparent except the secret agent thing, which is only apparent because we get a voice over from their boss. In fact, despite being good at their jobs they manage to make everyone at the crowded party they are attending aware of who they are and what they are doing despite being on a covert mission.
In the course of things it’s established that Bane is the believes-in-true-love-boring-one and Captain Kirk is the womanizing asshole. Which makes a certain amount of sense, really.
Back at the base we learn that they work for the Fake Central Intelligence Agency (FCIA). We learn this two ways: First, they’re in Los Angeles and not Langley, Second they have massive interactive displays and amazing computers and all manner of things that the real CIA probably can’t afford.
They’re both suspended for fucking things up in Hong Kong, and need a way to spend their time. Bane has a son and an ex who he doesn’t seem to know how relate to. A fact that Captain Kirks grandmother points out by calling him a screw up. What a bitch.
Bane then joins an online dating service using his real details (more proof he works for the FCIA and not the real one) and meets a girl played by Reese Witherspoon. Then Captain Kirk meets her. So now she’s dating both of them. And they’re both dating her. And they decide not to tell her they know each other. And they use the full resources of the FCIA to stalk her. And they bug her apartment. And this movie is a little bit creepy when you consider these facts.
Meanwhile Reese Witherspoon’s best friend is played by Chelsea Handler, a person whose fame is inexplicable to me, and is the annoying married sex crazed seeming miserable but actually loves her husband best friend who gives zany advice. She proceeds to give zany advice that isn’t funny.
Bane and Captain Kirk both take her on a series of dates, the only important one of which is when Captain Kirk takes her to meet his grandmother. She shows Reese Witherspoon pictures of Captain Kirks awkward teenage self. What a bitch.
More happens, there’s some more dates, the boys friendship is tested and since they’re best friends, or so we’re told, this is a big deal. The reason I say it that way is that they don’t act like they’re friends at all let alone best friends.
Then the bad guy shows up. Reese Witherspoon finds out they know each other and is all “I trusted you!” which is nice considering she’s been dating two people and not telling everyone involved.
Just saying, everyone involved is a bit of an asshole here.
Then there is a car chase, a bunch of shooting, Reese has to choose and she chooses Captain Kirk for, you know, reasons. Bane then gets back together with his ex for similar reasons.
Long story short there’s absolutely no reason to see this movie. If you’ve seen more than one romantic comedy before then you know everything that’s going to happen here, right down to what they are going to say probably. Add to that the fact that no one here has any chemistry with anyone else, most notably Bane and Captain Kirk who we’re repeatedly told are best friends for life but seem somehow really awkward around each other.
Plus, for some reason the world they live in doesn’t make any sense to me. Not just all the ridiculous fake CIA mega computer bullshit, but Reese Witherspoon’s office is so colourful it looks like it has been terribly photoshopped and the CIA doesn’t reprimand anyone when the two spies destroy a multi-million dollar drone that’s being used to spy on one of the dates.
During the car chase they shoot out the tires of the car Chelsea Handler is driving and it careens through a hedge into a pond and just when you think she’s going to die and the film will be less annoying the car floats on said pond. Fucking floats. The metal car. Floats.
This is all little stuff but it’s all stuff that takes me out of the movie. Then again maybe I’m just expecting too much from McG, who’s only notable directorial efforts in the past were the Charlie’s Angels movies (which no one noticed were kinda bad because of all the gorgeous on screen) and Terminator: Salvation (which may have ruined the franchise. Jury’s still out on that one). I get the feeling that maybe McG thinks I’m an idiot, which is just another reason to not watch his movies.
So predictable and boring and terribly directed and when I laughed it was inappropriate. Don’t see this. Just don’t.
Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to make suggestions in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81