War Dogs, a crime, war drama, based upon true events, is a film which follows Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, two arms dealers who win a government bid to supply the US military in Afghanistan with weapons.
David Packouz (Miles Teller) is a massage therapist, down on his luck, and in need of a windfall in order to support his pregnant girlfriend. He is reunited with his childhood friend Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) who suggests David join him in his business of selling weapons and ammunition to the US military. Together, the pair continue to win bigger and better government contracts, which ultimately leads them to the highly sought after contract to equip the entire Afghanistan stationed US army with weapons and ammunition.
The film details a rags to riches, get rich quick story much like those depicted in films such as Catch Me If You Can and Runner Runner. The way in which the plot is developed throughout the film is intriguing, utilising the natural progression of such schemes to highlight the inevitable rise and fall of all those involved. Jonah Hill plays the self-entitled, obnoxious and arrogant Efraim convincingly well. He is a character that quickly becomes one that you’ll love to hate, as his selfish nature and care a damn attitude about those around him is clearly evident. Miles Teller, too, is convincing as young man struggling to cope with his new responsibilities as a family man and provider.
The film does well to portray the inner workings of selling weapons to the military and the lengths David and Efraim go to in order to ensure a successful transaction. The trips to Eastern Europe and the Middle East was an interesting change of pace for viewers and a rather big difference in environment for David and Efraim, both of whom were much too familiar with the lavish lifestyles of Miami Beach’s residents.
War Dogs, certainly raises ethical issues, wherein these two men were making money by lying, cheating and screwing over others to supply substandard armaments used to bully, instill fear and kill. The film poses the question of whether it is just and fair for people to make a profit from war and the killing of other human beings. David and Efraim showed no remorse in this respect, and David himself, went against his own personal feelings about the war, sacrificing his own morals and principles in order to make quick and substantial amounts of money.
As with most get rich quick schemes, there’s always one party who is especially greedy and the string of good luck is bound to run out. The way in which both characters deal with their ultimate downfall is significantly different and further illustrates the vast differences in personalities of both men. It is this brilliant characterisation and portrayal of both men that makes War Dogs an interesting film to watch from start to finish.
A well written film with easy pacing and an ending that is satisfying, War Dogs is refreshing and poses interesting topics for debate, making it a film worthy of spending money on. What truly sells the film is the acting quality, which drives the story forward. Jonah Hill certainly deserves praise. Plus including Bradley Cooper in a film usually bodes well for everyone.
Check out the film and let me know your thoughts.