War Dogs (2016) Review

war-dogs-posterFrom Warner Bros. and the director of the Hangover trilogy, Todd Phillips, is a comedy about a couple of friends who become arm’s dealers while aiding the U.S. overseas. David Packouz is tired of his career and is about to usher in a new baby with his girlfriend Iz. An old-time friend, Efraim Divoreli, convinces David in joining him in his business AEY, Inc as an opportunity to raking in the big bucks. But when lies soon turns to betrayal, David must make a decision that will clear his name once and for all. The film stars Miles Teller and Jonah Hill.

There wasn’t a lot of marketing for ‘War Dogs‘ but with a formidable cast in Teller and Hill one would think it could be for some fun. As the premise indicates it’s about a couple of guys who get into the business of selling arms deals overseas without any knowledge of international laws and economic restrictions when it comes to trade. And with that much information is what the whole movie is about. The movie was okay as it wasn’t memorable or terrible but rather it had potential to be more then what I had expected. There were moments that made me laugh and much of that came from Jonah Hill who’s the one that influences his friend, David, to joining in his business. 635941649200081557-AATD-FP-035

What I had trouble with had more to do with the pacing and direction of the film as it progressed. The movie started off taking its time as David runs into his long-time friend Efraim as they catch up after so many years. Then it takes its time as we get into the details of the operation and how arms deals work. By the end of the movie we get a very disappointing conclusion that was building up to something that at least for me should’ve been more. Instead, the conclusion falls flat and doesn’t feel like there was any resolve or a confrontation that should’ve taken place. So as for the editing it really struggled. We then get into whether the movie is supposed to be a drama or a comedy but rather ends up being a combination of both which didn’t always work.

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The chemistry between the actors was fine as there were moments that had me laughing. Without getting into spoiler territory, once we see both David and Efraim head to Iraq while trying to transport weapons to a military base is when the laughter really begins. There is even a surprise appearance, to whom will not be told, that has some involvement between David and Efraim. From an acting standpoint there weren’t a lot of problems because both Jonah Hill and Miles Teller did great together. This leads us to Ana de Armas who plays as David’s girlfriend, Iz. As we get to know her and then find out of her pregnancy we get to build a little bit of compassion for her when the secrecy of the business starts to slip and becomes more frustrated as time goes on. For what she did, Armas did great and nothing could be said otherwise.

Overall, ‘War Dogs‘ suffers from an identity as it tries to cater to being either a comedy or an action drama. Most of it stems from the script and there being way too much of the details that had to be spelled out to the audience. Both Miles Teller and Jonah Hill did a fine job while shaking things up a bit as the movie trudged along. If you’re going in expecting a straight up comedy then you may be left disappointed but it’s not to say the movie doesn’t entertain.

Rating: 6.3/10

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What do you guys think of ‘War Dog‘? Do you plan on seeing it? Which are your favorite Jonah Hill and/or Miles Teller films? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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