This Means War

This Means War is a romantic comedy about a woman (played by Reese Witherspoon) whose friend signs her up for an online dating site. At first she's very skeptical that she will find any sort of appealing match amongst all the internet trolls, but to her surprise she immediately finds two promising suitors that seem to be equally appealing. One is shy which isn't really her thing but he does have a sexy British accent. The other is obviously a D-Bag but he has six pack abs. Which of these two bachelors will she choose?

Well, she shouldn't choose either of them. What she doesn't know is that both men are secretly engaged in a bet with each other to see who will win her heart first... Which would be a dealbreaker even if they weren't also repeatedly violating her civil liberties in their zest to get an advantage over their rival. You see, both of these immoral psychos work for a shadowy government intelligence agency and they are using all of the surveillance tools at their disposal to spy on her so they can figure out her likes and dislikes and then use those to manipulate her affections. Y'all, this is a movie that doesn't just think that the idea of Big Brother tracking your every movement is funny, it thinks it is romantic.

Now, I watched this movie with very good intentions. I went into knowing that plot could lead to any number of interesting topics. For example, I'm interested in how state surveillance is so omnipresent anymore that we've become almost desensitized to it - it's become something that you could (almost) plausibly use as a backdrop for an upbeat romance. I'm interested in why our willingness to tolerate government intrusion in our lives is surprisingly high - Reese Witherspoon does not immediately sue the government once she finds out what  has been going on and that decision almost (kind of) makes sense. (Chris Pine's stomach is really, really flat y'all.) On a less serious note I'm also interested the state of the rom-com - it seems like Hollywood is having a lot of difficulty of finding novel set-ups that aren't too creepy or condescending to either or both sexes.

But here is the thing: it is just too goddamn hot in Portland right now. I have completely lost the ability to think right now. I do not care about Big Brother. I do not care about rom-coms. I do not care about Tom Hardy. At this exact moment all I care about is ice cream and sweating less.

Since my brain is not up to working full speed I just do not have the energy to write you the long, insightful and spirited deconstructive essay you've come to expect. Instead, I started dicking around on my computer and ended up creating these masterworks that mash up (mostly made up) quotes from Sun Tzu's the Art of War with pictures of This Means War. They are clearly the by-product of a punchdrunk mind.

Now right now you might be saying: those things were crazy. They are mash ups of things that don't go together. Most of them barely even seem like jokes. But you know, after looking back over them I have to say that they are probably the most fitting review I could have written for this movie. After all, This Means War starts and ends with two G-Men trying to catch a terrorist but it doesn't have enough action scenes to feel like an action movie; it is ostensibly a comedy but it comes off as so unreflexively bro-tastic that it isn't doesn't produce very many laughs; and it pretends that it is a romance despite the fact that it is about two creeps who are using satellites in outer space to stalk an unsuspecting woman everywhere she goes in the hopes that they can use mind games to con her into sex and that is one of the least romantic things that two men could possibly do to a woman. So I dunno, maybe I did end up writing the perfect review when I wrote a bunch of disjointed nonsense and tried to pass it off as funny content. As Sun Tzu might have said "when it gets to be this fucking hot everything is bullshit so you might as well say fuck it."

Winner: Draw

This Means War on IMDB