War Dogs is a wild dark comedy based on an article in Rolling Stone magazine. It later became the book Arms and Dudes by Guy Lawson.
Directed by Todd Phillips, it veers off the conventional war movie path, diving instead into the darkly comedic underbelly of international arms dealing.
This true story adaptation showcases the morally complex world of war profiteering. With Jonah Hill and Miles Teller delivering both laughs and stark realisations, it reminds audiences that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
So what is the movie about and is it worth watching?
What Is War Dogs About?
At the peak of the Iraq war questions were being raised about the huge contracts that were being placed with Halliburton and Dick Cheney's close connection with the company.
To demonstrate a level playing field, they pushed a little known government initiative and put military contracts for supplies out to tender. The contracts could be found on a public website for anyone to pitch for.
Enter two childhood friends, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill, Maniac) and David Packouz (Miles Teller), who reunite in their twenties in Miami. As David struggles with his mundane massage therapist job and the news of his girlfriend's pregnancy, Efraim offers him a business proposition.
Efraim has been making small profits by purchasing and selling arms to the U.S. military, and he believes there's a bigger fortune to be made.
After winning a massive deal, they find themselves living the high life and dangerously out of their depth. Their job: to arm the Afghan military — a mission that involves very shady people, high stakes, and moral ambiguities.
As the two begin raking in the big money, they're thrown into a world of shady characters and high risks. Their relationship strains under the weight of deceit, greed, and mistrust.
When they land an even bigger deal that seems too good to be true, they are forced to face the ethical implications of their actions and the price of their ambition.
War Dogs Official Trailer
Is War Dogs Worth Watching?
War Dogs has a serious political story to tell. But at the same time director Todd Phillips has tried to add too much outrageous comedy to lighten the tone.
Unfortunately, I am not quite sure he manages to get the balance right in this film. He leaps from wild scenes that could be out of The Hangover to confronting detailed ethical questions. It's a difficult mix and one that verges on being too morally disturbing.
Jonah Hill's compelling performance and portrayal of Efraim is particularly compelling, capturing the essence of a morally ambiguous character with a volatile blend of charm and menace.
Miles Teller, as David, provides the grounded counterbalance, adding depth and humanity to the narrative.
Instead of focusing on the front lines, War Dogs offers a fresh perspective on warfare — the businessmen and profiteers lurking in the shadows. This approach presents a riveting exploration of the grey areas in war commerce.
Add in the blend of dark comedy with real-life stakes and you get a really engaging viewing experience. The pacing is tight, and the plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat.
You will have to overcome some moments when the tonal shifts between humour and serious commentary feels jarring but overall War Dogs presents a fresh perspective on the world of war and the ethical quandaries inherent to it.
Cast Of War Dogs Movie
Jonah Hill as Efraim Diveroli: The charismatic and morally flexible half of the lead duo.
Miles Teller as David Packouz: The more grounded and ethical counterpart to Efraim.
Ana de Armas as Iz: David's girlfriend, who remains unaware of the full extent of his business endeavors.
Bradley Cooper as Henry Girard: A shady international arms dealer who becomes involved with Efraim and David.
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