Director Todd Phillips brings together the old crew from The Hungover Trilogy – including Bradley Cooper – for his production of War Dogs, However, don’t expect the high jinx and ridiculousness those films brought. You can expect the film to be extremely men-centric as women take the backseat in this ‘based on a true story’ plot.
Yes, believe it or not, War Dogs is actually based on a true story which was originally covered by Rolling Stone back in 2011 in an article named Arms and the Dudes. At the time the Bush administration was backing small businesses, so of course, these two young middle-class American guys couldn’t have entered the international arms dealing market at a better time. Dubbed the biggest hustle ever, it’s certainly a story that only a movie could do justice, but with Phillips behind the camera it doesn’t quite live up to its premise of a comedy/drama as we plod along with a script that raises eyebrows rather than a copious amount of laughs.
After being best friends in junior school then losing touch with each other, Efraim, played by a cocky yet ruthless Jonah Hill and David (Miles Teller) are reunited at a funeral. David is a despondent masseuse and has a beautiful girlfriend who is expecting their first child. Efraim is a sales guy on the totally opposite spectrum. So when the pair starts to catch up Efraim shares his business secrets with David – a business that is earning him the major big bucks with the thanks of the government’s marketplace for military goods. The pair partner up with what seems unfair share of 70/30 split of the profits.
As the business starts to grow into a multi-million pound venture the cracks soon start to appear, Efraim is only motivated by money and all the flashy expensive things it can buy and the attention it offers, whereas David, unable to keep lying to his anti-war and all that goes with it girlfriend, isn’t so much focused on living the high life. When the chance of a $300 million deal comes through they bring in the biggest arms dealer they can find, a glasses wearing Bradley Cooper as Henry – someone who Efraim tries to cut out of the deal but it’s David who is made to pay for his partner’s greed before the business partners world comes crashing down around them.
The only thing to truly stick out is the performance from Hill, yes he delivers some of the funnier lines but it’s his portrayal of a man that is fed by his hunger for money alone, his passion for succeeding and his charming yet devious backstabbing is something we just aren’t used to seeing from the actor, it’s refreshing. If only as much thought and attention had been paid to the heavy, somewhat drawn out plot we could have been dealt a sweeter blow.
War Dogs is out in Cinemas August 26th