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This Means War tepid and disappointing 

Formula action and chauvinistic script do performers (and audience) no favours

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The story of one woman, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), dating two CIA agents (Tom Hardy and Chris Pine) could be forward-thinking, and yet director McG and a team of male screenwriters came up with something not only banal, but mildly insulting in its use of what-women-want stereotypes. (No, visiting your boyfriend’s extended family is not lady porn.) The action movie side-plot doesn’t help much; it’s an excuse for a villain, some car chases and explosions (the opening scene looks like a cheaper version of something from the Charlie’s Angels movie, also directed by McG). Witherspoon, who has comic skills (let’s not forget Legally Blonde), only sparkles when she’s talking to her potty-mouthed BFF (Chelsea Handler), mostly because Handler can deliver great one-liners. Of course, Lauren chooses the damaged goods, not the “safe” guy (the nice one)---if a woman had written this, she would’ve dumped both dudes for being competitive schmucks.


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