Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thoughts on the film: This Means War

Lots of people have been asking me what I thought of This Means War, so I will post about it for all to see.

Overall, it was okay. There were some really cool action sequences - the opening scene and the paintball bit, specifically - and a neat one-shot that was cool to watch even if it was a ludicrous premise because it was like a little dance with the principles. In fact, there were a lot of really beautiful shots; McG knows how to do a good one shot for sure. There were some funny jokes and some great chemistry between the guys. And you can't ignore how damn pretty everybody is.

Fortunately  I read the reviews and knew to go in with lowered expectations, so I wasn't disappointed. The movie was exactly what I expected it to be - fun, but kinda fluffy.

There were two main things I would have changed.


First of all, there's this bad guy who's barely in the movie, and it turns out that he's been watching our guys date this girl for some time. Know what would have not only kept him more relevant in the film, but added a bit of extra absurd comedy? If we had seen him occasionally tracking down our guys. He would have been witness to these guys both violating  her privacy and competing for one woman. It would have been a great opportunity for some laughs as the bad guy says what we're all thinking.

Second, this is a MAJOR violation of this woman's privacy. She gets mad when she finds out they knew each other, but fuck that. She's not perfect; she was dating two guys at once and didn't tell either one, so she doesn't really get the right to be indignant about that. What she does have the right to get indignant about is the fact that these guys bugged her house and an entire surveillance team watched her have sex.

But it never comes up. She never finds out what they did. The one element of your story that would cause the most conflict, and it's completely ignored. Imagine what these guys would have had to do to win her back if she found out what they did. So I guess what I'm saying is, I would have focused more of the script on the privacy violation. I think it was the elephant in the theater for me. You could have kept the competition between the guys, but added another element that would have given the film more depth.

There's no reason pretty people can't fight and love and laugh and still be about something substantial. There were missed opportunities here.


  1. Thanks for that quick take. I can't believe they didn't improve on making the bad guy from scene 1 more integrated... but then, after your main story gripe, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. In light of this, I wonder if McG & Co. allowed more than two women to speak about men (per Reese's focus group job), or if the guy's greater family relations stayed in the story...

  2. McG deserves the movie equivalent of the death penalty. He makes Michael Bay look like Godard. Brett Ratner is Roman Polanski next to this guy.

    I wouldn't give him too much credit for the look of the film. I'm sure the DP has more than a little to do with it.


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