Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Embarrassment to Bromance

(Published in The Sunday Guardian, on 18 March 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/embarrassing-bromance )



Cast: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon
Director: McG
Rating: 1 star
When the end-credits began, my first thought was, “No wonder the director’s hiding behind initials.” For ninety minutes, I’d watched a British guy who works for the CIA, and a fellow-agent who clearly fancies him, court an aging Reese Witherspoon.
So, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine) attack a German robber at a Hong Kong casino where Latinas hit on them. My head’s already in my hands when the shots ring out, and Tuck runs out of bullets. I know FDR tossing him a backup magazine will become a running gag, I know the German will return to avenge his brother’s murder, I know the CIA agents will both fall for a blonde chick with a pre-pubescent voice and crow’s feet, and I know all of this will come together in a climax that’ll make me want to shoot the entire cast twice over.
What makes it worse is, these guys’ boss struts around like she’s in America’s Next Top Model, their love interest Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) has a friend called Trish, and they all live in apartments that ought to be in the pages of Better Interiors.
Okay, here’s the gist. Tuck and FDR are “grounded” because their covert operation made headlines. They go to FDR’s granny’s house, where they’re ordered to make her great-grandbabies. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you’d think this is the part where they tell her they’re gay. But turns out Tuck has already gone forth and multiplied. And he wants to have with a woman what he has with FDR. Yes, he says that. He wants her to take a bullet for him (which, incidentally, FDR hasn’t). And he’s so desperate he hits on his ex-wife.
So, you think FDR’s the sensible guy. But when Tuck meets Lauren through an online dating service, FDR gets so paranoid he wants to go along. They reach a compromise – he’ll hang around nearby. Through all this, he doesn’t ask to see a picture of the girl Tuck’s going to meet. Thus unfolds a ridiculous story riddled with retarded one-liners, and a painfully obvious end. It also involves creepy scenes where Tuck, FDR and their underlings watch each other sleep with Lauren using surveillance equipment, and snoop around her house using clumsy Capoeira moves. Yeah, Salman Khan movies are more logical by comparison.
The Verdict: Unless you’re one of those nasal-voiced men who takes squeaky-voiced women to the cinema, where you pre-empt the inane dialogues in an annoying accent to impress her, stay away.



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