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Dissecting Trailers: “This Means War”

With the end of the year comes all the Oscar-bait movies so it’s been increasingly hard to find trailers worthy of dissecting. I need the big-budget, overblown Hollywood trailers, and luckily today we have a doozy. It’s for a film called This Means War which proudly proclaims its release date is “President’s Day Weekend.” President’s Day is in February… you know, where movies go to die.  At any rate, check out the trailer and then we’ll go a-nitpickin’!

Wow, am I right? Now here we go.


0:00 – 0:10: Helicopters flying over a city, a big party, hot ladies, and two handsome lead actors in tuxes – Probably going to be an action movie.

0:11 – 0:12: Yup. Action movie.

0:13 – 0:14: Ooh, some sex too. This can’t be bad.

0:15 – 0:16: Lucky the linoleum was just waxed so he could do the slidey move.

0:17 – 0:22: The CIA’s best guy-off-of-building kickers. They trained months for that.

0:23 – 0:29: Nice! A buddy action movie with all manner of big stunts and things. And I like both of these actors. Could be a lot of fun.

0:30 – 0:35: Isn’t that adorable, they both have new girlfriends.

0:36 – 0:41: “Wait, are we both dating the same 40 year old?”

0:42 – 0:50: Did I change the channel? What happened to this movie? Why is Reese Witherspoon talking to her friend about dating two guys? And why is that friend Chelsea Handler? Why can’t people ever talk in person in movies?

0:51 – 1:04: So, they’re just going to pretend they, CIA agent best friends who work together, aren’t seeing the same woman. Yeah, that’s probably the best idea anyone in the CIA has ever had.

1:05 – 1:15: What a staggering waste of government funds. Let’s go Occupy Langley.

1:16 – 1:25: Boy, that sure is inconvenient for them. I bet nothing romantic ever happened while it was pouring rain…

1:26 – 1:42: Oh, the old tranquilizer dart to the neck gag. And lucky for the joke, this tranquilizer dart makes people snore and not drool and look dead. The CIA thinks of everything.

1:42 – 1:52: Lovely random violence. And only someone like Tom Hardy could admit they’ve murdered people and still be charming. Fucking British people…

1:53 – 1:55: The big showdown. Time to tell her the truth like adults, right?

1:56 – 1:58: Exactly, Reese, they’ll probably just shake hands, just like they did in 1834 at the ballooning events.

1:58 – 2:03: Yes, much more likely that they would just act like children and destroy thousands of dollars worth of property, these two grown ups who work at the highest level of security.

2:04 – 2:08: And there’s Chelsea Handler being the horny old cougar.

2:09 – 2:12: HAH! Okay, that’s a good joke.

2:13 – 2:19: UNRELATED VIOLENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:19 – 2:20: They couldn’t actually title it “Spy vs. Spy” because MAD Magazine would sue, so they just use it in their marketing and instead title the movie “This Means War,” not realizing that Bugs Bunny will now sue.

2:21 – 2:25: Aaaaaand DICK SHOT! It wouldn’t be a hilarious comedy movie without somebody getting hit in the dick with something. Oh, that Reese, she’s so charmingly inept with firearms.

2:26 – 2:30: Will Smith was a producer of this movie and McG is the director. In safe hands like that, it’s no wonder the studio gave it the prestigious President’s Day weekend opening.

Well that was fun, wasn’t it? Too bad we have to wait until February for it to get bad reviews, make a fair amount of money, and then get forgotten entirely like other cinematic gems Sahara and Knight and Day.

Until next time, the YouTube window is closed.

-Kanderson sees this movie as an allegory for the dangers of the government’s costly military complex and would like to talk to you more about it if you follow him on TWITTER

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13 comments

  • “You’re seeing her too? Fuck this. I’m in the CIA! I can find any kind of tail from around the globe.” or “She just happens to be dating 2 CIA operatives? So what do you think shallow grave in the boonies or 500 lbs of lime and a tub because she is either the luckiest blonde or the stupidest spy.” and you know that’s gonna be the twist ending. Reese and Chelsea will be boarding a plane to Lithiuania after these two morons kill each other and she talks into a cell phone with a horrendously bad Russian accent, “Da, Operation Honey Pot Cougar was success.”

  • Waxlion I think that maybe necessary. Just looked up McFly on youtube and wow just wow. I thought as Americans we had cornered the market on bad pop music. I take my hat off to the UK. Also my ears now appear to be bleeding, I take it that’s a natural reaction to McFly.

  • Poor Wheezy. Try framing it as “That English man from that biopic/documdrama about some Welsh criminal [directed by that Drive guy]” and “that guy from the McFly and Lindsay Lohan romantic comedy about luck/direct to DVD movie about a plague.” It’s still technically accurate.

    But yeah, Reese Witherspoon aside, it seems like the action is mostly competent and I do like films that play with crossing over genres a little bit. But really there’s not a single thing to suggest the romantic comedy element would be good and regardless who plays the girl it seems like she’s not set up to be terribly sympathetic.

  • Damn it Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, be less really really good looking. I know my less nerdy friends will drag me along. This is the conversation that will damn me to see this movie.
    “Who are those two guys?”
    “The British guy is in Inception and the American is in Star Trek.”
    “Really? Wait… you love both those movies. We’re seeing it.”

    Still at least it is not Battleship. But not being Battleship I cannot do Battleship shots before the show and dress up like a WWII sub commander. Also really, really, really, ridiculously good looking Alexander Skarsgård is in it.

  • Despite the “action-like” scenes, most of them in this trailer were from the opening of the movie. The majority of the movie is not very eventful, it staggers deep into unfunny Rom-Com-ness, and falls flat on its face, then proceeds to throw up on itself with awful scene after awful scene throughout.

    Witherspoon plays herself; not cute, not funny, not smart, but just ditzy, unrelate-able, and kinda sad. The other girl is her mother, she’s probably the funniest actor of the whole movie, but she’s hardly around – She genuinely seems drunk all the time (the actress, AND the character). I could go on, but this movie might reach upwards of 20-30% on Rottentomato/Metacritic – Take that as you will :v not even a stoner comedy.

  • I have no problem admitting I will be seeing this and I will enjoy it. As long as this isn’t totally misleading like that trailer for Drive. I’m still seething with unnecessary rage over that.

  • Clearly, this is an action movie made for women. How else can you explain the presence of Reese Witherspoon and Chelsea Handler?

    Not to mention the dreamboat duo of Pine and Hardy.

  • Oh that old tale….

    I guess it could be a fun action romp. Both guys were in a Star Trek movie, so there’s that. Can’t say that I’m too fond of Chelsea Handler’s brand of comedy either.

  • During the entire hot mess of random scenes slapped together, I kept asking myself, “WTF is Reese doing in this film?!”. I guess she owes Will Smith a favor or something. *shrugs*