War Dogs

3.5 Stars

It’s no secret that trailers can misrepresent a film, suggesting a tone that the final product has no interest in offering. Even still, my thoughts on War Dogs have shifted in the days since first watching it, and I’m glad I had some space between viewing the film and writing about it to sort out my thoughts. As the trailer does suggest, the film focuses on two guys in their twenties who manage to secure a multi-million dollar contract from the U.S. government to arm American allies in Afghanistan. The film charts their unbelievable rise to landing that contract, and the inevitable fall that awaits them. It’s an intriguing concept for a film, with the structure resembling one told in a crime film, but with the added flair of a war film in several key moments. As the central character, Miles Teller delivers a strong performance, but it’s Jonah Hill who’s the scene-stealer, playing a character so obviously horrible that it becomes clear the actions of both leads are more terrible than the film initially lets on. What it’s not, though, is a comedy; don’t let the laughs from the trailer or the dropping of director Todd Phillips’ name in conjunction with The Hangover fool you.

War Dogs • Rating: R (for language throughout, drug use and some sexual references) • Runtime: 114 minutes • Genres: Drama, Comedy • Cast: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas, Kevin Pollak, Bradley Cooper • Director: Todd Phillips • Writers: Stephen Chin, Todd Phillips, Jason Smilovic • Distributor: Warner Bros.

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