By MARK TURNER
There are tons of movies released every year and the fact is all of them can't be the most stupendous movie ever made. But there are many that fall into the category of fun movies that offer no redeeming value whatsoever and yet are filled with fun and energy. THIS IS WAR is one of those movies, a film that's fun to watch and may be worth watching again and yet it offers no social redeeming value. So what? It's a movie, kids!
FDR Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are two CIA agents for whom action comes easily. Both are experts in their field and the best agents around. They're also best friends. When an operation goes from covert to public awareness, the duo finds themselves behind desks at the home office in LA.
FDR is a ladies man, always on the prowl. Tuck is more subtle, with a failed marriage and young son he adores. When they find themselves stuck at home, Tuck decides its time to find someone special and pops his info, or the info he creates, onto a dating website. There he meets Lauren (Reese Witherspoon).
Lauren is an up-and-coming single in LA as well. Her job has her testing products for a consumer group. Her longtime girlfriend Trish (Chelsea Handler) feels that she needs to get out. To give her a nudge, she posts her name and info on the same couple's website Tuck visits, but with info that Lauren isn't quite happy with.
Lauren and Tuck set up a meet but Tuck has FDR as back up, hanging out in a nearby video store. The meeting goes well and ends soon after they meet with the promise of a full fledged date to follow. On the way home, Lauren stops to rent a video at the same store FDR is at. With no clue who she is, he hits on her and through a series of circumstances gets her to go out with him. The result is two best friends dating the same girl with no clue until each shows the other of their latest love interest. What follows is a game of trying to one-up each other to see who gets the girl.
Using the resources of the CIA the duo spy on each other's dates as well as gain information on Lauren. Using that information they both treat her to some stupendous dates doing the things she likes. Things go so well that she has a hard time deciding just who she wants to be with.
While all of this unsanctioned surveillance is going on, bad guy Heinrich (Til Schweiger) is trying to find Tuck and FDR. When that opening sequence to the film went bad, the pair had killed Heinrich's brother and he's now set on revenge. Tracking down the pair to LA you know it's just a matter of time before a face off results and the chances of Lauren being in the middle of things is pretty good.
The movie follows the usual Hollywood pattern of mixing comedy and action with comedy being the main focus. The situations that the heroes put themselves in trying to impress this new woman in their lives make for some funny scenes. Each time she mentions something she likes or dislikes about them, they attempt to prove her wrong by either doing what she wants to overcoming the things she might dislike about them. All in all it makes for some funny moments.
Best of all with this film is the ease that the characters and actors bring to the story. It never feels forced of fake even though being fake is what most of their actions involved. I've said before the proof of a good actor is to not feel like they're acting and all three here display that in spades.
More than anything the movie is fun. It delivers the right combination of action, comedy and romance that create an enjoyable watching experience. I wasn't sure what to expect from the trailer for this film and actually thought it would be something light but more mediocre than it was. When I was finished I knew that this was a movie I could watch and enjoy just as much a second or third time around. If you're looking for something fun to watch then make sure you rent this or even pick it up. It's worth watching.
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