Film Review: War Dogs

War Dogs

Todd Phillips’ War Dogs is a funny and engaging crime comedy-drama. The film entertains throughout its madcap tale.

David Packouz is at a standstill career-wise, when is school friend Efraim Diveroli arrives back into town. Efraim is making a great success of bidding on US military contracts, and invites David to join him. With their business expanding, the pair try to enter the big leagues of arms dealing…

Based on a Rolling Stone article, War Dogs is the true story of two high-school friends who became arms dealers during the Afghanistan war. Certainly some of the incidents in the film may appear far-fetched, but they are based in reality. The film is certainly a case of the truth being stranger than fiction.

The film is told from the point of view of David, a somewhat naive young man who shows insight later. It is easy to see why David is beguiled by his old friend Efraim; the latter appears to have a vociferous appetite for living. Nevertheless, at times David seems a bit too gullible in believing his friend’s excuses or reasoning. Overall, the pair have good chemistry, and are tremendous fun to watch.

The reason that War Dogs works so well is because of the tone that permeates the film. The tale gives an insight into arms dealing and the US military that few will know about. Phillips gives a clear opinion on what he thinks of this. Yet the film is funny and informative without being preachy or flippant. Similarly, there are shades of grey with the protagonists. Phillips does not completely condemn or absolve them, making for a more engaging film.

Miles Teller is decent as David. It is Jonah Hill who steals the show, however, as Efraim. It is one of the actor’s strongest roles to date – he is a lot of fun to watch. Bradley Cooper also amuses in a small role. The soundtrack to the film works well, much like in Phillips’ The Hangover.

Phillips perfectly blends entertainment with education in War Dogs. A great watch.