War Dogs is based on the true story of two young guys, David Packouz (Miles Teller – Divergent) and Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill – The Lego Movie, How To Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street), who managed to win a $300 million contract from the US Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.
With a touch of the American arrogance we see so often in films, and a big helping of the capitalistic “go get it” attitude, we get to watch as Efraim is tempted by riches by the very charismatic David, with enough evangelistic hype to his deeds, that many a viewer would be left questioning their own decisions in a similar given situation. For Efraim, there appears no line in the sand, instead a series of decisions lead to what unfolds for us, the audience, on screen. This is all certainly clear, in hindsight, but when you have nothing, and are offered a way out, those moral lines tend to blur.
War Dogs is an impactful drama, seen from another side of the many stories of conflict we are all so accustomed to. War is profit, and these two high school friends want in on the act. This not only leads to a bit of adventure for the two, with a few hair raising encounters, but leads to a few rather poignant yet funny moments. There is no doubt that the cast of Miles Teller and Jonah Hill have a certain comedic chemistry between them. Their timing and palpable connection on-screen supplies the several moments of brevity in the otherwise thought provoking drama.
Thankfully shying away from the all too common slapstick of today’s comedy, there is more intelligence to the humour provided by the situations in War Dogs. Couple that with a good story (albeit with no major plot twists), and audiences are in for a fun and entertaining ride.
War Dogs opens 2 September 2016 in South Africa.