What are we to make of this McG character? What feels like a long, long time ago he gave us a strange yet strangely appealing movie version of Charlie's Angels, a bright, loud, angular picture that somehow turned all of its junky parts into trash art. Had a new Warholian populist been born, an almost queer-camp fetishist with an eye for explosions? Well, as it turns out, no. No, not at all. Charlie's Angels was a weird fluke it would seem, as each of the four films this McG has directed since — Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, We Are Marshall, Terminator Salvation, and now the drearily noisy This Means War — have been inert endeavors with distinctly nothing to show or tell us. Sure McG has produced some solid B-level TV entertainment, shows like The O.C. and Supernatural, but as a director he's proven useless. And This Means War, a romantic comedy entirely devoid of either romance or comedy, may represent the nadir of that uselessness.
This Means War is about two cocksure loose cannon CIA spooks, played with empty machismo by the increasingly irksome Chris Pine and the far better than this Tom Hardy, who are the kind of "shoot first, questions are for nerds" dudes that I thought we were sorta done with in action movies. (Oh, yes, this is sort of an action movie too.) I thought we were in a more bespoke, thoughtful, Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Ryan Gosling era of action hero, but I guess not. Here to prove me wrong are Doofus and Doofuser, come to wreck your house, make an unfunny quip, and make off with your daughter. Well, OK, to be fair, the character that Hardy plays, Tuck, is sensitive, he's a divorced family man with a son whom he loves. He's that one. He's the Martin Lawrence to Chris Pine's smooth player Will Smith. (Just rent Bad Boys this weekend.) But yes, mostly they are both boors who break things and whom a stern mommy/boss (played by poor, poor Angela Bassett) often has to scold. What catches, right??