War Dogs (2016)

Director Todd Phillips
Written by Stephen Chin, Todd Phillips, Jason Smilovic

Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas, Kevin Pollak, Bradley Cooper

David (Teller) is a hard working husband to Iz (de Armas), trying a multitude of different jobs to earn an honest dollar. When he reconnects with his old school friend Efraim (Hill), he is offered a job assisting his business in bidding on US military contracts. While they start off with small contracts (crumbs of pies), they soon find their business booming – and with a $300 million contract in their sights; can they pull it off

 Pretty interesting story ‘loosely’ based on true events – is complemented by a brilliant screenplay – and more importantly the two leads. Hill is a very underrated actor, and while I have not seen every one of his performances, this is one of the best performances I have seen, edged out only slightly by the similar Wolf of Wall Street a few years earlier.

There are also some pretty good action sequences too, especially during the ‘Triangle of Death’ sequence. While there are some ‘black comedy’ moments, director Phillips who was ‘post’ Hangover, and ‘pre’ Joker – shows he was able to blend the two genres – and he succeeds in his storytelling here.

The real up of this is the chemistry between the two leads, especially during the highs and the lows. As mention earlier, Hill is a great actor, and is always on point. While Teller gets second billing, he is the real lead of the movie – even getting to be the narrator of the film, which also works well within the film.

There is also great use of filming locations, where a portion of the movie takes place. These are very well done, and there is great contrast in the color spectrums, especially in the Albanian scenes. The score from Cliff Martinez is fantastic, and complements several intense scenes.

There are a couple of small nitpicks, that being I felt Bradley Cooper was a bit miscast as the role of a side character, and Ana de Armas was clearly struggling with her lines in her second English speaking role – but this is not the fault of either of them as they have proven themselves worthy in other roles. This is also this reviewers opinion.

Very good movie and I highly recommend it.



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