writer: Timothy Dowling & Simon Kinberg
starring: Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hardy
genre: Action | Comedy | Romance | Spy
released: 17th February, 2012 (U.S.), 23rd February, 2012 (Greece)
Hollywood requires from its cash cow genre of romantic comedies to have a constant flow of produce to the market no matter the quality. And who can blame them? When people no matter what, spend their money on this schlock. Luckily for us, sometimes a good film will be made out of the bunch. Maybe, not always a film that we will remember in the next 10 years. But a good enough film where you like the characters, enjoy the jokes and feel lucky enough to actually be seeing a decent romantic comedy.
Frank (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are not only best buds and partners, but close as brothers. They would never cross each other, for whatever the reason. Even if it was a woman. This all changed when Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) steps in their lives. They both set out to betray one another and as secret spies, use their skills and abilities to sabotage one northers attempts at love with Lauren .
McG after proving himself as a action director in "Terminator Salvation". Where he tried to be serious with the film-making aspects of cinematography, drama and a simple un-stylistic action setup. Returns to his "Charlies Angels" film-making abilities of fast cut editing, high intense unrealistic imagery and people doing unbelievable feats just for shits and giggles. This so called MTV style of directing detracts from the humor and romance of the film which he actually does have a skill for. Which ultimately could have played an even more important part to the film's development.
Where the film gets a rolling as you might have guessed, is when the humor kicks in. This is where McG uses his natural skills of comedic timing and setup to work. His film "Charlies Angles" was full of it and was one of the reasons it took off (aside the hot women). Here the humor is handled very well and is actually the film's saving grace. In a way McG should have from the get go, left the action aside and put even more silly spy humor.
If it wasn't for this solid spy humor and very silly best friend ruining each other's dates gags. This film wouldn't have a lot to ride on. For the casual romantics out there, this is not a bad film to choose. As it actually does something fresh with the genre and at the same time remains funny enough to never be boring.
Where the film gets it all wrong and robs of it of being a better film. Is in its villain sub plot and emphasis on keeping the action ever present. It's a continuous annoyance and only present to justify the characters as professional spies. It derails the film and is the film biggest down point. Even more then the romantic montage within the film or the romantic cliches and the usual happy ending.
I've seen many reviews, that have just thrashed this film beyond belief and I can see how this isn't one of the genre's proudest moments. Plagued by cinematic cliches and an overabundance of choices. So in my eyes it could have been worse. I might be in the minority that actually found it to be mildly funny and a reasonably good date film. For all its mishaps its still a good rental and pleasant film to watch with a partner.