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War Dogs

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Walking in, I was under the impression that Todd Phillips' most recent film, War Dogs, would be like previous films he made: a raunchy comedy that pushes the limits on drugs, language, and nudity. This has come to be expected from the guy who directed The Hangover trilogy and Due Date, and who produced Project X.

Nope.

Whoever decided this film should be marketed as a comedy needs to be fired. This film at most has one or two funny moments. They're quite brief and they serve as a reminder to us all the Todd Phillips has become very much unfunny and his golden days are behind him. It should have marketed as a "based on a true story" political drama. It probably would have done better at the box office then.

The film follows two guys with weird, unpronounceable names despite the fact that they are American. David Packouz (played by Miles Teller, who gives it his honest to God best shot) begins the film as a massage therapist. For about 10 seconds he explains why this is as we stare uncomfortable at one of his fat male client's butt on screen. This scene gives you a very awkward feeling, as though you want to soak your eyes in bleach for about 30 years afterwards. David quits his job and spends his life savings on bed sheets he intends to sell to nursing homes. What he doesn't realize is that nobody actually cares about the bedroom comforts of an elderly person, which is why the whole thing is a bust. Why anyone would be so naive and spend their life savings on that sort of crap shot gamble is beyond me. Cut to some unimportant person's funeral where we see David find his old partner in crime, Efraim Diveroli (played by Jonah Hill). Something gives you the feeling that this was used as a plot device and a launch pad for the entire story. Efraim offers David a job at his company, AEY Inc., which sells weapons to the military. He agrees and what follows is their cocaine-induced escapades involving Bradley Cooper and his sunglasses, a furious pregnant girlfriend, an underpaid Albanian workforce, and a laugh from Jonah Hill that is so annoying you want to put your head throw a wall every time you hear it.

I found this film to be long, boring, stupid, and frankly, quite unnecessary. Miles Teller and Jonah Hill produce respectable performances and do their best with a poorly written script, but what ultimately comes out of it is a film that makes me wish that I had a solid gold grenade to throw through a glass wall like David did.

I give this film 1 1/2 stars out of 5. This is probably in the top 5 worst movies I've seen this year. I think it's time, Mr. Phillips, for you to retire to Vegas, with your cigar smoking monkey, Mike Tyson tattoos, and a Zach Galifianakis fanny pack.




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