WAR DOGS [2016]

war

Directed by Todd Phillips

Written by Stephen Chin (screenplay), Todd Phillips (screenplay), Jason Smilovic (screenplay), Guy Lawson (based on the Rolling Stone article “Arms and the Dudes”)

Starring: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Steve Lantz


Another comedy from the creators of the Hangover films, this film gives us an interesting look into the world of war economy, and how two 20-somethings are able to land a huge deal with the US Military. It is a fresh take on the wars, based in last decade, with Dick Cheney (and by association, Halliburton) running the show. It is no secret that he had interests in Halliburton, and this was what gave small companies an opportunity to bid on contracts with the Pentagon.

So the film definitely has interesting social commentary about the wars in the Middle-East, and I enjoyed that aspect of the film. It is lifting the veil of bullshit that is television, and it tells us how war works. War is business, any ruthless businessman will tell you that.

But despite a promising premise, the movie doesn’t deliver. There are a few laughs peppered across the movie, but this, combined with a complete lack of action, makes the movie feel rather tepid. Just a fraction better than boring, but not good either. It is just there, making an obvious statement about the wars. And that is about it.

Miles Teller is great, and Jonah Hill is smooth and charismatic as the over-confident arms-dealer. It is a good performance, but it is also nothing close to his turn in The Wolf on Wall Street. Miles Teller is also below his game when compared to Whiplash. Their characters don’t really grow either, all the side-characters have no depth, and as mentioned, there is no action. Nothing of importance really happens. They just run guns. And this gets a bit boring, not to mention any tension or suspense is lost.

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War Dogs works as a political look into what happens behind the scenes during war-time, and that look is extremely accurate. War equals money, anyone with a brain canthree beer figure that out. But it fails to combine this on-point social commentary with comedy; this and the lack of action really stunt the film. This is an interesting take at the economy that lies behind the curtains of war, nothing more. It would probably have been better as a documentary.

Three beers short of a sixer

3/6