So, Tom Hardy, after breaking through with a stunning performance in ‘Bronson’, he proved he could take the spotlight from a very starry cast in an exceptional blockbuster (‘Inception’), then cemented his dramatic chops with ‘Warrior’ and ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’, and gets cast as the new Batman villain. He is clearly on the path to the A list. So what is his first name above the title Hollywood movie? ‘This Means War’: Oh dear. Let’s hope ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ can repair the damage.
Hardy and ‘Star Trek’s’ Chris Pine play a pair of young, attractive CIA agents (go with it) who are currently working desk jobs as some big European bad guy is after them.
They are best friends, though Pine is a womanizer while Hardy has an ex-wife and a son to juggle his job with. Then, through a series of stupid events that aren’t worth getting into and would only happen in a movie like this, they end up both having a date with the same woman, unbeknownst to each other.
From there, more of Hollywood’s brutally twisted version of romance ensues. Of course these two BFFs will start hating each other at the thought of a pretty blonde girl but the methods through which they go about courting her are quite horrifying. They both abuse their positions at the CIA to gain access to state-of-the-art surveillance technology, which they then install in her apartment and spy on her every waking movement. (I wonder how they’ll explain that when they’re married with kids). They also go about sabotaging each other’s dates in increasingly dangerous ways. These reckless criminal acts are all portrayed as being amusing and romantic of course.
Whenever a movie makes a love triangle set-up such as this it often seems to fail in making the object of desire particularly desirable, and this is no exception. Sure Reese Witherspoon’s character is a nice enough girl but she doesn’t come across as someone who two young, successful, good-looking guys would immediately risk their friendship, jobs, freedom and lives over.
You can probably tell where it’s going, and while it does throw a big car chase in, there’s no saving this nonsense.
To give you an idea of the amount of thinking that went into it, all you need to know is they needed a song to soundtrack scenes of the central pair sabotaging each other’s dates, what did they go with? ‘Sabotage’ by The Beastie Boys of course, ‘cause it, like, has ‘sabotage’ in the title.