Wednesday 31 August 2016

Film: 'War Dogs'

Though based on a true story, as soon as this brash film settles down one can guess the arc that it'll follow, which it totally does.

Masseur Miles Teller happens to meet his old school pal, Jonah Hill, the latter now a relatively small-time, though lucrative, dealer who wins U.S.Government defence contracts for Afganistan, which he achieves by tendering through telephone and computer messaging, impersonating an arms big-wig dealer plus a lot of lying and bluster - his arms-providers being distinctly dubious figures in the Middle East. 
Teller, impressed by the money Hill is making, doesn't need much convincing to ditch his massaging job and come on board, they forming a successful partnership which despite a few narrow scrapes (visiting Iraq, then Albania) carries on successfully. One is just waiting for the time when their ambition and lust for ever more money makes them over-reach themselves. Enter crooked arms-arranger, Bradley Cooper (appearing in just a few short scenes) leading to the pair's carelessness in not being ultra-careful in keeping everyone who's part of these shady dealings on-side. It only takes one disgruntled player to collapse the whole vulnerable house of cards. Needless to say there's also been a growing mutual mistrust between the two partners.

Romantic interest is provided by Ana de Armas as Teller's wife, who isn't told about the true nature of the 'work' which is bringing in so much as to enable them to live in luxury. 

Director Todd Phillips, best known for his two 'Hangover' films, (though I haven't seen either) gets away with a fairly work-a-day product. It delivers what it's intended to, without any particular special touches that would have kept it lodged in the mind.
Often very loud, it managed to carry me along with it just sufficiently while it played. I didn't think it especially original despite it claiming to be grounded in fact. 
Ultimately, I'd rank it as being in the category of 'memory-disposable'............5.5.

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