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This Means War, starring Chris Pine and Tom Hardy and directed by McG, is a 2012 action romantic comedy about two CIA agents who accidentally start dating the same girl.
The two agents, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine) are scouting out a party for a target. This introduces us to the two main characters and their dynamic, which is a typical but adorable pair of good friends. Tuck is much more polite and sweet while FDR is roguish and impulsive. Their targets are two brothers and when a fiery shootout hits, one of the brothers is accidentally killed, causing the other, Heinrich (Til Schweiger), to swear revenge on the two friends.
Meanwhile, a lonely woman named Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) has gotten tired of the single life and her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler), makes her a profile on a dating site. Similarly, Tuck has had little luck in love as he is divorced and has a child to take care of and so he decides to try the same dating site. He and Lauren meet up on a blind date and hit it off while FDR hangs out in a video store nearby just in case the date goes south and Tuck needs an escape. However, Lauren goes to the video store and FDR, clueless that it’s the same girl Tuck had just gone out with, becomes interested in her as well. Tuck and FDR meet up later at their office only to discover they are dating the same girl. Both men offer to break it off with her because they are friends and do not want to lose their friendship over a girl, but their pride gets the better of them and it becomes a competition to see who Lauren chooses. As their tempers flare, their friendship starts to fall apart as they get more and more aggressive about trying to get Lauren to fall in love with one of them. All the while, the enraged Heinrich is closing in and looking for a way to hurt the boys for the death of his brother.
This film contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: At two different parts of the movie, FDR claims to be captain of a cruise ship
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Accidentally implied with Lauren's choice to date FDR instead of Tuck.
- Amicably Divorced: Seems to be the case between Tuck and his ex. She's not his biggest fan, but she isn't nasty to him at any point when she comes to pick up their son. It is further enforced by her agreeing to go out to dinner with him after Lauren chooses FDR.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: How Lauren and FDR's relationship starts out.
- Betty and Veronica: Lauren is torn between the sweet Tuck and the flirtatious FDR.
- Big Damn Heroes: After Heinrich kidnaps Lauren and Trish, the boys steal a Jeep and go after them, completely ignoring Heinrich's demand for them to meet him at an abandoned warehouse.
- Boyfriend Bluff: How Lauren and FDR eventually reconcile their differences enough to actually date.
- Bullying a Dragon: The over-aggressive father at Tuck's son's karate class. Seriously, who talks shit to Tom Hardy about his kid?
- The Charmer: FDR. Tuck is gorgeous, but not as flirtatious as FDR so he doesn't get noticed as much.
- Chekhov's Skill: Lauren's extensive knowledge of consumer products pays off when when she tells the boys to shoot the headlamps of a (otherwise bulletproof) car, thereby triggering the airbags.
- Cock Fight: Tuck and FDR try to avoid this for the most part, but the more emotionally invested they become in Lauren, the more they argue and eventually get into a fist fight.
- Da Chief: Played, oddly enough, by Angela freaking Bassett.
- Dead Little Sister: The death of Heinrich's brother sets him off on revenge.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both the boys, but FDR moreso than Tuck.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Tuck. Though he reconciles with his ex and they are together at the end.
- Distressed Damsel: Lauren when Heinrich catches up to her. Trish too because she happens to be in the same car at the time of the kidnapping.
- Dueling Stars Movie
- Enhance Button: Played straight when FDR has one of the techs do magic enhancing to reveal the bad guy stalking Tuck.
- Expy: FDR is unnervingly similar to Chris Pine's portrayal of Jim Kirk in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Lauren pulls one with FDR to make her ex jealous. It works. Hilariously.
- Fan Service: Chris Pine getting shirtless, and later naked, for the girls (and some guys); Reese Witherspoon in her undies for the guys (and some girls). Though Tom Hardy's arms in general make him borderline fanservice too.
- Genre Savvy: The boys have enough sense to know not to meet Heinrich at the location he suggested to get Lauren back and instead hijack a Jeep and grab her en route.
- Groin Attack: Completely accidental, but Lauren shoots Tuck in the crotch with a paint gun.
- Handsome Lech: FDR, in spades.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: The agents watching FDR and Lauren imply that the two put on quite a show.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Tuck and FDR.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Basically, a young Captain Kirk going up against a young clone of Captain Picard. This movie is about as close as you're going to come.
- Hot Dad: Tuck.
- Hot Mom: Tuck's ex.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: FDR comes across as this to Lauren. The viewers know he's a lot sweeter than he lets on, but he doesn't show his nicer side to Lauren until later in the movie.
- Karma Houdini: FDR and Tuck. They break into Lauren's apartment, tap her phone, set up cameras everywhere, and place trackers on her. Neither of them face serious consequences for their actions.
- Love Triangle: The entire plot of the film, basically.
- Mr. Fanservice: Tom Hardy. Chris Pine. In one movie. AT THE SAME TIME.
- The Obi-Wannabe: Lauren most likely wouldn't be in this mess if she weren't following Trish's horrible excuse for guidance.
- Only Known by Initials: FDR Foster, obviously. Also somewhat of a Shout-Out to former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was also known by that moniker.
- Playing Drunk: The boys try this to catch a bad guy who knows Heinrich.
- Pair the Spares: Tuck and his ex get back on good terms by the end of the film after Lauren chooses FDR.
- Shirtless Scene: Chris Pine has a couple, but oddly, Tom Hardy does not.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Trish, played by Chelsea Handler, takes over every scene she's in and makes it hard to realize Lauren is even there. This is mostly due to Handler's outrageously over-the-top lines.
- Uptight Loves Wild: Ultimately reflected with Lauren's choice.
- Was It All a Lie?: Lauren doesn't know what to think when she finds out Tuck and FDR are best friends.