Miles Teller and Jonah Hill cause havoc when they land a $300 million dollar contract with the Pentagon to sell guns to the U.S. military, where they become embroiled in a life of crime and dangerous situations in the “Based on a true story” comedy, ‘War Dogs’; written and directed by Todd Phillips (obviously known for ‘The Hangover’ trilogy). While this movie was advertised as a comedy that seemed prepared for offensive humor that is more restrained than your political satire from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the humor just happens to be there in riotous fashion, with Hill’s America-loving portrayal of former arms dealer Efraim Diveroli being the target of politically incorrect/ foul-mouthed centerpiece of the comedy. While Teller not only plays the straight man, he is also the main guy, (and our reliable narrator) telling us all the details about his life while illegally working for the self-made arms dealing company known as AEY (I checked. It’s real.) with Diveroli.
Teller takes on the role of David Packouz, who feels he has nothing going for him in life; despite having a beautiful and caring girlfriend (Ana de Armas). Packouz has transferred from job to job; the two jobs gaining the most focus are being a licensed massage therapist, and a salesman selling bed sheets to retirement homes. It isn’t until he runs into Diveroli at a funeral when he gets suckered into the arms dealing business. Although Packouz and Diveroli both hate the war, they each have their own reason; Packouz wants to provide for his girl, while Diveroli does it for the pleasure and hates the whole Bush administration (This film did take place in the final years of a Bush presidency).
‘War Dogs’ is a fun and interesting movie about the consequences of excess. When the film goes anywhere near that point showcasing these characters taking it too far, conflict arises, and trouble nearly comes to kick them in the head (with Packouz getting the most of it). This isn’t much of a straight comedy as it is a political satire, it just happens to be filled with comical situations too taboo for great comedy duos such as Abbott and Costello to touch on. Teller and Hill do great as a comedy duo and even give great performances during their dramatic moments. Will ‘War Dogs’ get an Oscar nomination? Maybe not in the major categories, (despite Hill getting a Golden Globe nomination for his performance) but it is still a good movie nonetheless.