MOVIE REVIEW: WAR DOGS

War-Dogs-poster

War Dogs

Director:
Todd Phillips

Cast:
Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Ana De Armas

Based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.

Miles Teller plays David Packouz, a young man in his twenties who’s a little aimless in life. He’s dropped out college and is trying to find a career. He comes across an old junior high buddy of his, Efraim Diveroli played by Jonah Hill, who’s figured out how to make money by selling weapons to the government during wartime. When they team up, the business then evolves into an enterprise that these two can barely keep control of, and of course, chaos ensues.

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill have great chemistry together. Both of these actors have excelled in playing the fast talking, smart mouth, wise a** in previous movies, but here that lane belongs solely to Hill while Teller is the straight man. It’s really easy to follow these guys along on this unbelievable adventure, because they’re so likeable, even when their characters are acting like idiots. Ana De Armas is the surprise for me here, playing Iz, David’s girlfriend. She is absolutely stunning and does a solid job as a woman who keeps getting surprised by this man she thought she knew.

The story is their wild ride to the American dream that you know is too good to last, based on some of the decisions being made. Just like other movies in this style where you see the little guy(s) ascend to the top, and the money starts rolling in hand over fist, you know it can easily spiral downwards. Having likable characters is what makes this a entertaining journey.

The ads for this movie promote it from the “director of the Hangover Trilogy”, but people expecting a silly, comedic romp may be in for a surprise. Although this movie is humorous, I wouldn’t say it’s a straight up comedy. I did laugh out loud a couple times at some very funny scenes, but because this is a true story, the drama keeps it in the realm of believability. The movie is amazing to look at, and there’s a sequence here where these guys have to outrun some insurgents firing weapons at them, that is white knuckle suspenseful.

All in all, this is a very entertaining flick that is a solid movie. Not outlandish enough to be gut busting comedy, and the dramatic scenes are dealt with a lightness so it doesn’t feel overly distraught. A straight line drive up the middle, bolstered by a couple of characters who you can’t wait to see what they get into next. The fact that this is a true story is ridiculous.

Grade: 3 out of 5

-Markellus

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