'War Dogs' - Movie Review - Celebania


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Sunday 21 August 2016

'War Dogs' - Movie Review

Absurd and implausible are the two words that come to mind while watching 'War Dogs'. But it's based on a true story so the basic premise is validated. It's the contextual framing and treatment here, that really takes away from the unhinged reality that War can bring to even the most powerful nation. Also if you manage to get a hold of the 'Rolling Stone' story you will know that the director has taken quite a few liberties in the telling of it. But that was to be expected of Todd Phillips who probably wants every film of his to be a kind of 'Hangover' success story.

When twentyish David Packouz (Miles 'Whiplash' Teller) meets up with his old high school buddy Efraim Diveroli (Jonah 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Hill) at a Miami funeral, they catch up on each other laying bare their current occupations. David's been eking out a living selling bed linens to old folks homes while Efraim, also in sales, has become a wheeler dealer in Military armament supplies – As part of the George W. Bush administration's FedBizOpps military supply program. They team up together and aim for bigger contracts and to their astonishment, the two land a 300 million dollar contract to arm Afghan allies. Of course they have back stories that justify their jump into arms dealing but they find themselves in a pit too deep to come away unscathed from.

This could have been a biting satire about the system but it isn't. It's more raucous and loses the important aspects of the plot in it's effort to generate humor. The drama seesaws between wild and hyper emotional and the characters appear to be running around in circles. There's also just too much of fictional moments in this telling for it to be affective. Todd Phillips attempt is to give this film a 'Hangover' sort of burlesque and he succeeds partly- unfortunately that kind of treatment takes away from the purity of the true story. And that's a pity really.

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