WAR DOGS [2016]


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.


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


23 Comments on “WAR DOGS [2016]

  1. Nice review Jordan. I was kind of on the fence about seeing this one; I’ve liked both Teller and Hill in past films but thought The Hangover was nowhere near as good as most people proclaimed it would be. It’s too bad this doesn’t work; the concept would make a great movie (though it would probably be a lot fresher if it came out a decade earlier).


    • Yes, it does feel very late. And there is just no action man, the look into war economy is interesting, but nothing freakin happens in the movie! No set-pieces, no shoot-outs… nothin. Which would be okay if it was consistently funny, but its not, not even close. I’d skip it man, but that’s just me!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Its an interesting look at the economy behind war but you could get that, and much more juicy info, from a doco about the subject. This is just kinda…. nothing


  2. I think this would have been better if it was directed by someone other than Todd Phillips. He doesnt know how to get really solid performances for a movie with content like this. Then again I have not seen this,Im just basing my opinion on the trailer

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a mixed one…i think I’ll give it a miss at cinemas but will look out for it to stream eventually.


  4. Great post 🙂 Speaking of War Dogs, did you see that recent comedy with Tom Hanks set in the Middle East called A Hologram for the King? I thought it was great. I have not see War Dogs yet, but you wrote a great review as usual 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂


  5. Perfectly stated review! Absolutely agree.. I saw this one back in April at a special screening at WB.. it had a great premise..but it’s just missing the key element to make it a good movie.


    • Yeah skip this one Ruth. Its a film that has been marketed as some kind of action comedy, but it doesn’t have any action, or any comedy!

      I just replied to that comment, sorry Ruth I accidentally missed a couple on that post! I’ve started studying so my post count is going doooown. I should be doing it right now really 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • No action nor comedy, ugh! Ok will skip it for sure.

        P.S. When you have a moment, check out my top 10 list of the year so far. Curious to hear what you think. I remember you love The Lobster right, that’s on my list 😉


  6. I wanna see it because I love Jonah and Cooper looked hot in the trailer but the fact the director of Hangover is dealing with somewhat serious subject just looks bizarre to me


    • Odd thing is, the serious subject matter is the only interesting thing about this movie. There is bugger all comedy, NO action at all…. Jonah is good here, but nothing close to how good he was in The Wolf….


    • Hope you like it man! I was interested in it a lot too, but so little happens of interest that I just couldn’t get into it. The complete lack of actions hurts it I think, will be interested to hear your thoughts!


      • Look forward to reading your thoughts mate. it wasn’t for me but I’ve read some positive reviews too. Plus as you probably know I’m not exactly neutral here hehe 😛


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