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War Dogs Review (2016) | Smart, Witty and Fun | A Tad Unscrupulous

War Dogs is a crime biopic made thoroughly exciting by its cast. I have always enjoyed watching a Todd Phillips movie. It doesn’t rip you apart with humour alone but also thrives on a great theme throughout, primarily with a story that makes every bit delectable. The bottom-line is that there is always something to look up to in his frames, and that makes the imminent, full of promises.

War Dogs is no different. The biopic though fictionalized beyond limit to scooch in theatrics, comes out as an enjoyable piece that shatters doors of gravitas to bring that smile to your face. What work for the movie are hands down mind-boggling performances by its duo, and its uncanny witty theme. Where at one hand, Jonah Hill makes his character one of the most cherishable ones ever, Miles Teller cannot certainly be overlooked either with his riveting gazing mien that brings profundity to the cinema. Both of them, with their dynamic chemistry together, make War Dogs a fun yet intriguing watch.

PLOT OF WAR DOGS

The plot is basically an intensified theatrical look into the lives of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz. With David joining his high school friend Efraim in his pursuit to supply arms and ammunition to the US army, the movie gets into the fine detailing of how their jobs were pulled off. It is a sheer mockery of the then existent feeble policies of US that saw opportunists getting their hands warm in the Iraq and Afghanistan fire.

War Dogs begins with a brilliant diegetic tone from David’s perspective, and delves into the story of David’s life even before he meets Efraim.

“War is an economy. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either in on it or stupid.”

War Dogs is divided into various chapters with lines of crises from its own screenplay for chapter names. Each section gives away what is about to happen which isn’t actually the best way of storytelling to be honest. It takes out that element of surprise of what’s coming from it. But you have to give it to Todd for his creativity to weave Guy Lawson’s Rolling Stone article “Arms and the Dudes” into something tangible.

At one point when you almost begin to think, if War Dogs is just meant to caper all along on its fun theme, the movie proves you wrong almost instantly. You see it enter deeper waters. Drama becomes impactful and you realize all that hourly fun of awesomeness is heading straight for the deep muck they had signed their checks for. Dramatics come galloping then and it levels the movie with its theatrics giving it a perspective and a direction.

DOWNSIDES OF WAR DOGS (SPOILERS INCLUSIVE)

If you stare hard at the downsides of War Dogs you will see how much of the detailing have actually been overlooked. To show you what you wish to see, a lot of the backdrop is made to disappear in your subconsciousness. A city in despair doesn’t feel like it when you visit it through Todd’s fun frames. There is no real tension you perceive. It wasn’t intended to get serious at any point, I surmise.

Also, you can say the same by looking at the character Iz played by Ana de Armas. Tension is not allowed to transpire at all. She ends up becoming nothing but a nagging wife.

still of ana de armas as Iz in War Dogs movie

War Dogs also elongates the Iraq visit too much, creating dispensable humour for one Dick Cheney’s America scene, which seemed quite unnecessary. It feels like Todd might have had some extra time frames to cover or might have ran out of substance. So, he creates something that actually didn’t happen.

I really wished a profound character came along to show the perpetrators what they were actually dealing with. Why war is not what they think what it is. The gravity of working with elements of chaos as if they were playthings of a child; I think it was important to show them the misery they were offering.

They get a poetic justice in the end, which was nicely wrapped up. A surprise visit by Henry Girard played by Bradley Cooper, who prefers wearing sunglasses, felt justified on the levels of David’s morality. But when the question is posed about Bashkim’s whereabouts, Henry shuts him with money, thus leaving all his threads out in the open.still of bradley cooper as henry girard

CELEBRATING CRIME

At the end of it all, you have to understand, both Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were really bad men. The way the movie gets manifested is as if what the actors were doing was a good thing. A context that its direction feeds you, and it is sad that something rogue and out of line like that gets celebrated.

You can’t help but notice how the movie only plays out on the vantage of David Packouz’s perspective. It puts him in the spotlight as a person who had a conscience whilst slaying Efraim’s brazen demeanour altogether. At what point in the movie does Efraim ever realize what he did was wrong? Well, never!

OTHER ASPECTS TO NOTICE

War Dogs is thoroughly entertaining. It has plenty of humour all of it coming from Jonah Hill’s natural knack for it. Miles Teller brings percipience to the story. It always gives us pleasure watching people get insanely rich. It brings smile to our faces, and that’s what primarily the movie tries to earn its green on for the better part. In the later part, we see the decline, which is a fit downhill ride anyway.

Oh and whatever happens, don’t ask Efraim the full form of AEY. Watch out for that bit!

SCREENPLAY OF WAR DOGS

The movie’s screenplay is abounding with beautiful lines, at times touching rare levels of contemplation.

“I miss not taking shit from anyone.”

Miles Teller’s diegesis continues throughout the flick dropping brilliant lines that transcends War Dogs altogether. Some lines are subtly put as well, leaving things for viewer’s imagination.

“No questions asked.”

THE FINAL VERDICT

It is hard not to compare War Dogs with the likes of Lord of War. What Andrew Niccol had created was undoubtedly and effortlessly smart, something you see War Dogs struggling with at numerous points. But it still manages to rope you in with Miles Teller’s rapt eyes and Jonah Hill’s engaging performance despite the theme movie tries to cash in on.

Despite, how good the movie turns out to be it still remains unscrupulous nevertheless.

still of jonah hill and miles teller high on weed joint in war dogs

What you would definitely take from this movie would be Jonah’s signature laugh; no doubt about that.

Check out the trailer of War Dogs movie here:

Insurgent Review (2015)

Insurgent is a fast paced thrilling joyride!

Good thing we have gradually stepped into the dark in this one. Roth isn’t afraid to kill people any more, and we don’t mind watching the dead!

With the release of Divergent last year, and the mediocrity it skimmed on, Insurgent seemed like a long shot. But boy does it prove everyone wrong. The flick comes in strong with a lot of action and thrilling acts of defiance. It is one hell of a joyride wrapped up beautifully in one fine editing thread of awesomeness.

Plot runs gorgeously complementing the acting prowess of Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet. Theo James still lacks the gravity of the extraordinary but works just fine with Shailene in the vanguard. Miles Teller is an exceptional and inevitable element to the tale and is still amazing behind the lens. Jai Courtney is ruthless as ever and Zoe, well she hasn’t been given much screen time here.

The time that has been squeezed out of action is well spent on drama, where Shailene simply blows you away. She is relatable and does manage to weigh in on your emotional heart with her breaking voice and concerned countenance. Dream sequences in the movie are quite exceptional. Withering buildings and bodies look really badass when fragmenting.

SPOILERS:

There are several instances in the movie where the direction seems to be abruptly gliding towards dodgy. Like the unrealistic direction when Edgar finds out about Four’s true identity. Also, Caleb’s reluctance to continue the sojourn spoiled by Ansel’s drab acting and Shailene and Theo’s shallow comeback. Missing gravity on Theo’s face would occasionally compel the movie to circle mediocre flames. The flick also misses out on character development for some crucial elements, for instance, introduction of Uriah to the tale was pretty bland and abrupt. Also, we don’t get a proper glimpse into Johanna’s life either.

Wrapping up a book in two hours is hard. To what Robert Schwentke managed in a flick is worth commendable. If only the franchise grated itself on a fully fledged TV series, it would be a whole different story to show every bit from the book in an amplified manner. But whatever we have on the big screen is still pretty dope. We can work with it. Go watch this beauty!

Whiplash Review (2014)

Intense and epic!

Damien Chazelle has landed a knockout blow in extremity with his epic jazz project. Whiplash is a story of a young drummer with a potential to stand amongst the greats and an abusive instructor who seeks perfection at every note to help his students achieve the greatness.

The casting couldn’t have been more perfect. Both Teller and Simmons fit the portrait of their characters superbly. Simmons is an exceptional actor. He dons the abusive and mean demeanour quite naturally and carries it throughout the flick, reeking of perversion, cruelty and foul-mouthed barbarism. Going inhumane to create a musical virtuoso was something Simmons was trying to achieve. Teller, an equally great actor leaves no stone unturned to play the obsessive drummer, who fumes with confidence and rage when tipped over the breaking point. You see him burn in wrath and conviction when he is trying to prove himself.

Direction is enthralling. The way camera moves quickly capturing every gesture of the instructor and the protagonist and then landing on every instrument in the orchestra was a delight to watch. Beats in the background subtly wrapping up New York buildings show exceptional direction skills of Chazelle. Editing was outstanding. There wasn’t a moment of ennui in the entire movie.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

There are excellent dramatic scenes in the movie that simply goes on to show how Teller has significantly evolved in the acting department. Watch out for the bit when he gets rammed by a truck and still goes on to play. Also when he plays so fiercely that he bleeds and jabs the drum in resentment.

The climax of the movie would literally stop your breath. My hands were moving along with Andrew’s sticks as if I was drumming it. One of the best drums you would ever listen to.

Wasn’t a big jazz fan. This movie has transformed the way I looked at it. Highly recommended quality cinema ladies and gentlemen!