Monday, 9 July 2012

This Means War and Young Adult

Before I start my short review of This Means War I have to say if I was Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon) and female this would be a very short movie as, in my mind, Lauren’s dilemma was not much of a dilemma at all.

Anywho moving on, both Tuck and Franklin (Tom Hardy and Chris Pine) are both field agents working for the CIA, however the mission they are on goes wrong and the bad guy escapes. This subplot develops into nothing of any real interest until the final third, so I’ll go onto the more important aspect of the story. Meanwhile Lauren Scott is moaning about being single, so her friend, Trish (Chelsea Hadler), creates Lauren an account on some dating website thus allowing Tuck to meet Lauren. Meanwhile Franklin (aka FDR) manages to get a date of his own by being a prat, and due to a staggering coincidence it is the same girl. Lauren then moans about having to pick between two guys who really like her (I can’t imagine how it could get any worse for her, I mean having two of the opposite sex interested in you is a terrible thing to happen).

I learnt a lot from This Means War firstly it is perfectly acceptable for a woman to date two guys at once, but wrong for two guys, who know each other, to date the same women and the CIA have nothing better to do than spend resources on following a love triangle between two fellow agents and a woman who, without training, is an expert trapezist. You are now probably wondering what my point is here and the point is that This Means War is a stupid film, yet the thing is that it is knowingly stupid but it does push the boundaries somewhat (there are too many ridiculous moments to single out just the one). The central performances are rather good and Hadler gives an amusing supporting performance but she never changes her facial expressions, it seems stuck in the same gormless expression. However it is McG (the director) who drops the ball here as he does not keep the laughs and pace flowing constantly plus the choppy editing of the action scenes is poorly done, and frankly these scenes are a chaotic mess. 


Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a former Prom Queen who is still yet to grow up; Gray works a ghost writer working on a series of novels based around the life experiences of a teenage girl. Gray receives an email from an old boyfriend, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), concerning the arrival of a new tender offspring. Seeing this as a sign Gray travels to her place of birth to win his heart. Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman worked together previously on Juno, which was a satirical take on high school and teenage years. Young Adult is in a similar mould as it is about a teenage girl in an adult world; however Young Adult is not quite an impressive as Juno. The main issue with Young Adult is that I am unaware of how I should feel for Marivs Gray, am I supposed to hate her? Feel sympathetic for her? Or perhaps find her funny? I found her moderately amusing, but never felt any sympathy for her as she was, quite frankly, a bitch. Yet there are some good, cringe worthy and uncomfortable moments (the foul mouthed tirade at the party is the movie’s best scene) and Patton Oswald is great in his supporting role that slaps some sense into Mavis Gray. Theron is superb as the hateful Mavis Gray, but I felt strangely distant from proceedings.



  1. It's funny, I had pretty much the same thoughts as you after I first saw Young Adult, but now I think it is great. Weird how that happens. Theron deserved a nomination, I thought.

  2. Interesting reviews. Want to see both of these but not expecting a lot from This MEans War. I hope I enjoy Young Adult more than you did though. Still got high hopes for that one.

  3. I really liked Young Adult, I thought Theron did a great job in portraying the monstrous, mentally unhinged former prom queen. I don't think you were meant to like her but rather pity her.

  4. The trailer for This Means War was a lot better than the movie turned out to be. The movie was still okay, but nothing special. I liked Young Adult enough to recommend it, but it's not for everyone.