The trailer for This Means War didn't bode well and for the first 15 minutes or so, most viewers may be expecting a train wreck. The carnage begins with CIA agents Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR Foster (Chris Pine) exchanging bullets with some bad guys on the roof of a Hong Kong skyscraper. Hardy looks bewildered and uncomfortable, like a man who's suddenly sobered up and realised what he's gotten himself into. The action is limp, the effects are flaccid and as opening sequences go, it's one of the worst in living memory.
Amazingly, things pick up - Hardy looks more comfortable, Pine is effortlessly smooth and the chemistry between the pair begins to sparkle. Add to that a great soundtrack and some more Handler magic and all but the most miserable viewer will be suitably entertained. As for McG, he doesn't really bring anything to table and his direction is pretty uninspiring - the action sequences are poor and his blushes are saved by a witty script and some charismatic actors.
This Means War may not be the highlight of Tom Hardy or Chris Pine's careers so far, but it's a fun and forgettable holiday romance to bridge the gap until the business of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and J. J. Abrams' as-yet untitled 2013 Star Trek sequel gets underway.