Friday Flicks: Can This Means War Win Over Both Sexes?

Grab some popcorn! TIME's Glen Levy brings you the movies you should check out (or avoid) this weekend.

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This Means War

Tagline: It’s Spy Against Spy.

Consider: The world’s deadliest CIA operatives are both inseparable partners and best friends. What could alter that devastating dynamic?  Falling for the same woman, of course! So instead of bringing down enemy nations, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are going to pit their skills and gadgets against each other, all to win over Reese Witherspoon.

And there’s arguably only one man who could direct such a venture while keeping a straight face and that’s McG, who did such blockbuster business with the 2000 reboot of Charlie’s Angels that he’s been pretty much been able to pick and choose his projects ever since he got Drew, Cameron and Lucy to strut their stuff.

Without doubt, there are more negative notices than positive ones with his latest movie. Roger Ebert said “If there’s anything I hate more than a stupid action comedy, it’s an incompetent stupid action comedy,” whereas Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter somehow went one step further by claiming “This perfectly dreadful romantic action comedy manages to embarrass its three eminently attractive leading players in every scene, making this an automatic candidate for whatever raspberries or golden turkeys or other dubious awards may be given.”

But there is some love for This Means War and it seems to come from reviewers of the fairer sex. Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times wrote, “If you can get past the gross invasion of privacy issues that would exist if this were real life and not just a frothy confection, what you have is some bittersweet fun peppered by bursts of sharp patter, the best between the boys.” And Lisa Schwarzbaum at TIME’s sister magazine Entertainment Weekly eventually comes clean: “And yet, and yet … I confess I enjoyed everything that’s all over the place about the finished product.”

LIST: McG in TIME’s Top 10 Music-Video Directors Who Now Direct Movies

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