War Dogs review: This Todd Phillips film is a lost cause
Todd Phillips, director of the Hangover series, has made another buddy comedy with a degree of seriousness thrown in. Sadly, it just doesn’t work.movie reviews Updated: Aug 21, 2016 10:31 IST
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller
Rating: 1.5 / 5
He’s at it again. Todd Phillips, the director of the three seldom-funny Hangover movies, has fashioned another purported buddy comedy. This time, he even throws in a soupçon of seriousness for good measure.
The outlandish script is based on a true story and deals with a couple of 20-something stoner pals (Jonah Hill-Miles Teller) who stumble into lucrative careers as military contractors during George W Bush’s second term as President.
Discovering a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid for the supply of munitions to the army, the entrepreneur duo ultimately manages to secure a multi-million-dollar deal with the Pentagon. Sure enough, their get-rich-quick dream turns into a nightmare.
Watch the trailer of War Dogs here:
Tonally inconsistent, the film bounces back and forth between Miami, Baghdad and Albania. Besides discomfiting homophobic overtones (one of the lads previously worked as a masseur), there is the incessant use of the F-word (another recurring term is ‘Holy shit’) and an over-indulgence in freeze frames and slo-mo shots.
Though they display little on-screen chemistry, Hill and Teller ably keep the proceedings from lapsing into tedium. In the supporting role of a shady middleman, Bradley Cooper is efficient enough.
The wall-to-wall soundtrack comprises pop-rock tunes by the likes of Pink Floyd, The Who, Iggy Pop and Leonard Cohen.
Essentially trivialising the long-standing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, War Dogs squanders the opportunity for an incisive political exposé.