War Dogs (2016)


We meet David Pekauz (Miles Teller), a masseur and unsuccessful entrepreneur, who meets Ephraim (Jonah Hill), a high school partner, at a friend’s funeral. Ephraim is in the business of selling weapons to the Pentagon and decides to hire David who desperately needs money. Namely, Ephraim searches numerous Pentagon competitions for the supply of the army and competes for those that seem uninteresting to big players. David is doing great in business and over time they get more and more smaller contracts, while waiting for some that will change their lives…

War Dogs is a typical Hollywood movie in which everything is colorful, everything is bursting, everything is beautiful to the eye and generally cool, which also means that it was done completely great. Everything is in place here, with a decent plot and interesting characters, but with scenes that are predictable and have been seen so many times. Shooting from drones or helicopters, showing the splendor of Miami, freezing images, aggressive music and, most irritatingly, a narration that explains everything in small intestines – everything is there. Obviously, War Dogs is intended for viewers who want to relax and not think too much, the film fully meets that goal, but it wouldn’t mind a bit of originality.

At first glance, War Dogs is very reminiscent of The Wolf of Wall Street, primarily because they present criminals in a sympathetic way, both films insider the details of criminal activities, this time with arms trafficking, and John Hill plays almost the same character. It differs in important things, e.g. which in the older film is a very convincing and detailed story with a dosed comedy of characters, as well as the fact that Mr. Scorsese does not use cheap tricks. Here, the script is quite straightforward, the story is not a real drama, there are no real tensions and a lot of comic elements have been inserted, which do not always go naturally with the plot. Simply, the story in the movie War Dogs is such that we are convinced that a good part is made up, and if you, like me, are attracted to what is based on a true story, it means an automatic minus.

Jesse Eisenberg and Shaya Labaff are planned for the main roles, but Jonah and Miles have done great and act as a harmonious tandem. The chemistry between the two of them is evident, and the more talkative, explicit and crazy Jonah is, the more peace Miles brings to their duo. Miles also has the role of narrator, so we look at the whole story from his perspective, although the character of Ephraim is much more interesting to me. Jonah has the ability to be excellent in both comic and demanding dramatic roles, while here she is somewhere in between. Bradley Cooper is one of the producers and has a supporting role of Henry, a mysterious arms dealer, and the anonymous Ana de Armas is in charge of the better part of the film as David’s wife.