Picking a Valentine’s Day movie is always a tricky thing: do you pander to marketing and go with something love-themed, or do you just pick something you both want to see? The correct answer is always “find somewhere playing ‘Casablanca,’ ” but in lieu of that, the studios have lined up a wealth of options — Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams in “The Vow” for the more romantically-minded, or Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in action mode in “Safe House,” both of which open this Friday, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
But 20th Century Fox are hoping to land both demographics with McG‘s romantic action comedy “This Means War,” which opens on February 14th itself. Focusing on two spies and best friends (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who fall out after discovering they’re both dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon), the big-budget film’s hoping to bust blocks with its mix of explosive stunts and gags, and as if to persuade anyone who hasn’t yet got plans, they’ve released over 12 minutes worth of clips over the weekend adding up to roughly 8% of the total running time.
So, how’s it looking? Well, arguably better than one expects from “Terminator: Salvation” helmer McG, but we’re far from cancelling our Valentine’s dinner reservations in favor of booking tickets. The cast all look game (particularly Hardy), and McG’s handling the action well enough, it would seem. But for every moment that looks promising, there’s another that makes it look dreadful. There’s a nifty one-take shot of Hardy and Pine sneaking around Witherspoon’s flat as she sings Montell Jordan, but it goes on about thirty seconds past the point of it being funny. Hardy’s amusing as he brutally takes down a bunch of paintballing kids, but McG can’t resist capping it off with a nutshot. The stars seem to have plenty of chemistry together…but Chelsea Handler‘ s in it. There’s couple of decent lines, but there’s plenty of bad ones, and Chelsea Handler’s in it. The premise has the potential to be poppy, zippy fun, but the score seems to be awful, and Chelsea Handler’s in it.