Review: This Means War
3 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
It's impossible to ignore the relevance of Reese Witherspoon's profession in This Means War. Her character, an especially Witherspoonian blonde named Lauren Scott, is a consumer-products tester whose workplace looks like a scrumdiddlyumptious torture chamber. Neon-handled Teflon pans are blasted with flamethrowers in a tangerine lab, while a focus group of concerned housewives discusses charcoal grills in a polka-dot boardroom.
Before long, it hits you like a skillet to the face: How many times did this love-triangle action comedy go through similar rounds of quality control? How many focus groups gave it the once-over before it got the green light? Considering its multiple endings, spastic construction, odd romantic outcomes, and bizarrely dated snippets, it's safe to assume the punchy product arriving in theaters is a few generations removed from Simon Kinberg and Timothy Dowling's original script, which was once called Spy vs. Spy and had Sam Worthington and Bradley Cooper attached to star.