Free Press Journal

War Dogs: Cynical comedy

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Film: War Dogs

Cast: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, Steve Lantz, Gregg Weiner

Director: Todd Phillips


Much in the manner of the Jain community in India and abroad, Orthodox Jews take up the traditional occupation of business (for vastly different reasons, I think: Jains cannot, will not harm living creatures, while Jews were forced to; barred as they were from other professions in Europe )

The film under review has an odd couple from Miami for principal characters: Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) is a lonely boy, lonely and blue and wants money without becoming THE TRADITIONAL business suit. David Packouz is Efraim’s childhood friend has a girl friend (Ana de Armas) a baby and a job: he’s a massage therapist.

For everything there is a season, as the Bible says and comes the time Efraim convinces David to set up as international arms dealers, via a government program that enables Tom, Dick, Harry, David and Efraim to bid for contracts in war torn Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, they land a $300 million deal from the Pentagon, hoo boy! The willing suspension of disbelief is required here to state the obvious, how on earth could a pair of greenhorns bag a deal like this???

We’ve seen the arms wheeler dealer scenario before in some Hollywood flicks which invariably portray military contractors as shady guys (in other words, avaricious and corrupt). It seems the White House was completely clueless that some of the arms were old supplies made in China. ha ha. Could it be that rogue soldiers trading in stolen arms are worse? As it happens, War Dogs is based on a true story; director Todd (The Hangover) Phillips adapted it from a “Rolling Stone” piece by journalist Guy Lawson.

The centre cannot hold, things fall apart as the pair shows their true sociopathic colours esp. Efraim reveals his wounded, paranoiac and detached nature in his motto of “Never trusting no one… never expecting anything from anybody.” Needless to say, the lead actors make for a great watch, as does Bradley Cooper who fetches up as  an arms hustler.