This Means War

Posted: February 2, 2012 by jperritt in Action, Comedy, Rom-com [romantic comedy]
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When I first heard of This Means War, I thought it sounded like a pretty funny scenario and felt that the cast could make this film enjoyable. However, from recent TV spots and ads, I began to question whether or not we should even discuss this film on our site. To assist the readers who may not know much about the film, let me add a brief synopsis.

According to IMDb’s website (the best movie website) the storyline follows two top CIA operatives [who] wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman. The movie, humorously, depicts the two agents using aggressive force to knock each other out of the competition and win the girl. It is a mixing of genres – romantic comedy meets action adventure. Plus it is directed by McG, which tells you a lot. He typically directs entertaining action movies (Charlie’s Angels 1 & 2) and his name is McG….seriously, McG (it’s really Joseph McGinty Nichol but he only retains three of those letters).

Even though I had some hesitation about discussing this film at Reel Thinking, I felt that we should still do so. Part of our commitment is to discuss just about any film (excluding pornography) through the lens of Scripture. This film can still illustrate truth. Which brings me to the storyline and caution surrounding this film.

As mentioned above, two CIA agents discover they are dating the same woman. Let’s just be brutally honest and say that the world’s definition of dating isn’t the same as Christian’s. Dating, to the world means, sleeping with, fornicating, having sex. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Christians who have sinned and gone down that path, however, the ‘dating’ this love-trianlge is doing in TMW is highly sexualized in the previews.

Brief side note here, according to Religion Saves & Nine Other Misconceptions, in 1896 dating was introduced as lower-class slang in reference to prostitution. That being said, it seems that most of the culture and Hollywood have embraced dating’s initial meaning.

As a believer, what aspect of this film should be most troublesome? For starters, and those who place stock in the MPAA, this film’s rating has been debated. It was initially given an R rating but moved to PG-13, whatever that means. Second, there seems to be significant sexual content. Third, there will be a decent amount of violence. While all of these should give caution to Christians and require an amount of discernment (I hope it does) these should be lesser concerns for the Christian.

The story follows three people becoming one…wait, how is that possible? Where is that in Genesis? We have a love-triangle; i.e., two people being joined together as one and then one of those people being joined to a third. What does this communicate abouti sex or dating or marriage? However, what might be more troublesome than this love-triangle is the fact that it is to be viewed as humorous.

We laugh at the extremes the two CIA agents go to as they battle each other for the love of a woman. It’s humorous to discover their jealous reaction when they discover they’ve given their love to a woman that is giving it to another. We think it’s funny that the woman becomes an object/mission/contest for these two agents to win. At least that’s what the previews communicate. But, for the Christian, these are gross perversions of love, marriage, unity, and relationship. Therefore, we must be cautious of the manner in which these lies are communicated. If not, one may subtlety buy into these and begin to treat them as rational ideals, when they are clearly lies. We must be cautious of laughing at lies.

  1. Cindy says:

    Great review! I can’t always articulate my concerns, etc. Last night I told my husband this is exactly what concerned me about it. I thought it looks so cute, so fun, so entertaining. I was fearful in the midst of it I would forget, like you said, that I was laughting at lies and calling evil “cute”.

  2. jperritt says:

    Thanks so much Cindy!

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