Film Review: “War Dogs”

wards-posterStarring: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller and Bradley Cooper
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 59 mins
Warner Bros

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Who wants a little excitement in their lives? In 2005 the answer to that question was Efraim Deveroli (Hill) and David Packouz (Teller), former high school pals who reunite while attending a friend’s funeral. Via voiceover we learn that our government spends an average of $17,500 per soldier when outfitting them for war. War is recession proof. There are a lot of crazy gun nuts out there, but none as crazy as the U.S. Government. Someone needs to provide them…why not Efraim and David? Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?

Thanks to some great performances, “War Dogs” rises above similar themed films (for some reason, I kept thinking back to 1983’s “Deal of the Century” as well as 2005’s “Lord of War”). Teller, who is best described as his generation’s John Cusack, gives David a sense of morality. Tired of giving massages to rich people on South Beach, he jumps at the chance to go into business with Efraim. And by the time he finds out HOW the business works, he’s made enough money to convince him that the chances he takes are worth it. On the other side of the spectrum is Hill, who has gone from comedy fanboy to multi-Oscar nominated actor. His performance here is strong, going from humorous to dramatic and back without seemingly breaking a sweat.

The supporting characters, including Bradley Cooper as an infamous gun runner and Ana de Armas as David’s love interest, also make the film enjoyable. Based on a true story, the action keeps the film flowing smoothly without becoming preachy. As one of the last films of the summer season, “War Dogs” is definitely one to watch before you end your summer vacation.

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