Every war dog has its day…
A man goes into business with a friend as an arms dealer which leads to a contract with the Pentagon and a terrorist.
War Dogs Official Trailer #1 (2016) – Miles Teller, Jonah Hill Movie HD, Movieclips Trailers and photos © Warner Bros. Pictures
One line that always gets my attention when watching a film or TV series is “Based on a true story”. War Dogs (2016) – a crime war comedy – tells how young weed-smoking David Packouz (Miles Teller) meets old school friend, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) at a funeral and goes into business with him.
Doesn’t sound too interesting you’ll think after seeing Packouz’s previous occupations – as a masseuse and trying to sell bedsheets to elderly retirement homes – until you find out he is joining the arms dealing business. This is seen as a necessity as his girl, Iz (Ana de Armas) has just announced her pregnancy.
The film tells of his involvement with Diveroli and his company over a number of years. Their dealings include selling arms and ammunition to assist the US Troops in wars in Iraq, as they sell arms with a contract with the US Government. These initially self-confessed little leaguers then hit the bigger contracts leading to their most lucrative deal with the Pentagon and a banned American terrorist, Henry Girard.
The film was co-produced by Bradley Cooper who also stars as the terrorist is both scary and amusing. The film also stars Kevin Pollak as Ralph Slutzky who has been roped in as an investor in this company. There is also a cameo from Packouz. The soundtrack is fantastic. The film poster is a parody of the film Scarface (1983) perhaps due to the character Diveroli’s interest in the film, so this is a nice comic note.
It is interesting to see how the characters develop over this time, Diveroli, in particular, changes from charismatic to manipulative and greedy. As the film progresses he is increasingly unhinged. At times Diveroli is seen as a frightening character especially after taking more hard drugs. Hill and the cast played these attributes to great effect.
Packouz initially appears to have no qualms about lying to his then-pregnant girlfriend and is more supportive of his friend. But once he tells Iz of his career she is initially shocked and upset, but then stays with him, apparently with the opulent lifestyle his career has to offer.
This reminded me of the crime comedy film Buster (1988) with Britain’s National Treasure, Julie Walters and pop star always / actor sometimes, Phil Collins. This film was also based on a true life crime story wherein the film, initially, Buster Edwards’ wife stuck by him as he moved to Acapulco with his ill-gotten gains from 1963’s Great Train Robbery.
On a closing note, Hill’s laugh really, really irritated me. I’m not sure if this was a fake laugh for the film, but when I do get round to watching DiCaprio and Hill in Wolf of Wall Street at least I’ll have DiCaprio to distract me from it. In fact, now hearing Hill’s laughter in my head, makes me head to the DVD cabinet.
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10