In the world of this film, American spies work in stylish and luxurious L.A. offices and live in cool apartments that look like the ads in Maxim with people toasting each other with expensive vodka. One of the apartments is underneath a swimming pool, so the occupant can look up at the way the light plays through the clear blue water as luscious lovelies swim by. And that’s the believable part.
Chris Pine plays FDR and Tom Hardy plays Tuck, quip-spouting spies, who are always going to elegant parties for glamorous undercover missions and exchanging purportedly witty barbs as they chase the bad guys. FDR (really?) is the playa and Tuck is the sensitive divorced dad. It’s a big-time bro-mance with such blurred boundaries that they seem to have the same mother, even though Tuck is British. At a family party, Rosemary Harris (“Spider-Man’s” Aunt May) gently chides them both for not producing grandchildren – and then strangely dismisses the fact that Tuck already has a son, who does not count any more, presumably because of the divorce or maybe because no one cared enough to check back to the other pages of the script.
Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is a consumer products tester who has not dated for a while. She meets Tuck via an online match-up site and – another example of how completely out of date this movie is – she meets FDR in a DVD rental store. All of a sudden, she has gone from not dating anyone to dating two guys at once. And her specialty is product testing, even though she is a good girl who gets the flutters at the idea, egged on by her friend (Chelsea Handler), she decides to date them both. When they find out, they become intensely competitive in a way that is supposed to be charming and funny but in reality is just extremely stalker-ish and strongly suggests that she is just the hapless proxy for their intense attachment to one another, they use all of their training and resources to subvert and spy on each other. One is getting too close to having sex with Lauren? Bring out the tranquilizer darts. Sure, why not spend the billion dollar technology that is supposed to be trained on terrorists to eavesdrop on each other’s dates? We are supposed to find it endearing, but I was horrified.
Parents should know that this film includes action violence and peril with guns, chases, and explosions, sexual humor — some crude — and non-explicit situations, and strong language.
Family discussion: How did Lauren’s professional background affect the way she evaluated FDR and Tuck? Which man was more honest with her?
If you like this, try: “Get Smart”