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8.17.2016

Coming Soon - War Dogs

I was able to see an advanced screening of the new movie War Dogs the other day. It opens in theaters this Friday, August 19th. Check it out!
Inspired by true events, War Dogs tells the story of twenty-somethings, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (Miles Teller), a two-man arms dealing operation, that surprisingly wins a $300 million defense contract from the government.

First, let me start off by saying, this is not the type of film that draws me out of my house to a theater. Honestly, if I didn't get to see it for free, I probably would have skipped it, or at the very least, caught it on HBO or something down the road. I'm not the target audience for a film like this, as War Dogs is most definitely a "guys" movie; even more particularly a "young guys" movie. It's all guns, money, and war.

That being said, War Dogs was a lot of fun. It's an interesting story, well acted, and humorous too. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and it's a better movie because of that. However, the film also felt quite stale. It utilized the same story-telling trend you've seen before in movies like The Big Short and The Wolf of Wall Street, which incidentally also starred Jonah Hill in an equally gross and awful character. (He's scary good at playing these creeps, right?) Anyway, you know what I'm talking about. These movies start with some crazy intense scene, pauses, and the character voice-over comes on saying something to the effect of "How did I end up here?" The story then flashes back to the character's modest beginnings. The voice-over continues throughout telling the unbelievable story of how a bunch of white guys end up manipulating the system (sometimes even blatantly breaking the law) and end up getting crazy rich, crazy fast. I'll admit, they're entertaining, and they suck you in as you anxiously wonder whether or not they'll get away with it.

But, let me stand on my soapbox here for one second and ask the question...

Why do we celebrate guys like this?

They're reckless, immoral, selfish, and only out to make a buck. It says a lot about our country that these are the type of stories we've decided to memorialize on film lately. Hopefully, a movie like this starts discussions and makes you really question how your government and Wall Street operate; especially during the business of war. I hope it does, because I would hate for anyone to come out of the theater after seeing a film like this and be putting these guys on a pedestal of any sort. Believe me, they don't deserve it.

P.S. I mentioned The Big Short utilizes this same voice-over story-telling technique, but at least it's about basically good, smart guys. I highly recommend seeing it over War Dogs. It's currently on Netflix and definitely worth checking out. 

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