War Dogs (2016) – American Dreams

From entertainment to a serious issue. Todd Phillips‘ “War Dogs” is a funny yet serious story at the same time. However, different genres aren’t something which is easy to work on and direct. In addition to working on the “Hangover” trilogy, one of the films like this feels less balanced. When one element is able to shine, the other doesn’t highlight its insignificance. On the other hand, “War Dogs”, from its poster itself, was truly inspired by “Scarface”. There were many easter eggs in this film. Many people assume that this is a combination of “The Wolf of Wall Street” with Adam McKay’s narrative style. It feels self-aware when this film takes many references from Martin Scorsese as well.

It was loosely based on a true story about David Packouz (Miles Teller) and Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill). They were both arms dealer. David was originally a massage therapist. The shocking news came from his girlfriend, Iz (Ana de Armas), who was positively pregnant. However, everything turned into a frenzy. Ephraim offered a job in dealing with the illegal arms trade. He invited him on a trip to the Middle East. Trying to bring weapons from Jordan to Iraq, Henry Girard (Bradley Cooper) offered them more profit. Regarding the supply of AK-47 ammunition, they began flying to Albania. But, we all know how this will end even more dangerous.

Todd Phillips is back with his classic buddy movie style, as one of the “Hangover” trilogies. However, I preferred to see David’s and Efraim’s characters like Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance from “GTA: Vice City”. “War Dogs” is more convincing than the “Hangover” trilogy or films he has ever directed. The energy of this film so flows. The chemistry between David and Efraim is very interesting because I know there is a lot of conflict between them. The film has a layer of comments or essays, the Adam McKay style, in the form of society and politics. In addition, the way David conveyed his narrative- impressed its rhythm -was so good when he calculated war assets. Therefore, he and his girlfriend are anti-war for reasons of the past.

Efraim is like Tony Montana but more bastards. Jonah Hill appears as a comical character in the form of comedy from a combination of “Scarface” and “Goodfellas”. Interestingly, the business practices of the modern world are one of the matters in them. Like “The Big Short”, the film presents it in a director-style narrative, economic problems, capitalism. With a standard storyline, this dark comedy turns into a depressing movie when it comes to the ending. However, I still find it funny or maybe because of the expression of Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. This film, based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson, is like oil floating on water. This film is very interesting at first glance but it goes downhill so the movie feels less kicking.

“War Dogs” isn’t entirely a comedy but at times, drama and comedy are equal. Philips, if it comes out as in the comedy, might be a comedy film in general like the “Hangover” trilogy. The quite inconsistent story scheme. The absurd and weird chemistry between David and Ephraim is a substitute for everything past. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller managed to entertain us with their enthusiasm journey. Like a domino, it falls in sequence but we know how this would end. They slowly descended initially because of insane actions they were doing. Using the same template, we see something repetitive, monotonous, but a twist that’s no less great than the others.

The satire and stupid actions of Jonah Hill and Miles Teller are interesting points. This is why “War Dogs” is a good movie. Jonah Hill’s performance in this film is the most prominent. Despite, this is the same guy in “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Miles Teller, after becoming a jazz drummer in “Whiplash”, acts like the most innocent character. This combination of a sociopath and an innocent one is likable. The combination of both of them included Bradley Cooper himself who unfortunately only had a slightly really good role. Everything in this movie is balanced because there is nothing more radiant. Assisted with an okay soundtrack, this film was finally able to make chuckles between us. Thanks to both of them.

“War Dogs” combines elements of comedy together with a spice of drama to make the complete business system ala buddy movie. This film tries to look cool and brave by presenting elements of foolishness and the awkward situation on its characters. This dish eventually became a good movie. With drama elements but lacking satire, a pleasant spectacle of seeing the ridiculous jobs of Hill and Teller. This film does well even though not as much as the number of bullets fired. Therefore, this loosely based on a true story was pleasant enough to watch together.

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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