War Dogs (15)

War Dogs tells the tale of two youngsters who turn from patriots into profiteers in the blink of an eye.

David (Miles Teller) and Efraim (Jonah Hill) have been best friends since high school. So when David’s luck runs out his old buddy is more than happy to bring him into the fold. Efraim has just set up his own business and needs someone he trusts to help ease the load.

The wily businessman has stumbled upon a great money-making scheme. The only catch is that it means taking advantage of the war in Iraq. Luckily for the duo Efraim doesn’t have any qualms about exploiting the situation to make their fortune.

A little-known government initiative lets small businesses bid for US military contracts. While the big fish aim for the humongous contracts the duo make millions bidding for the scraps no one else is interested in. Little do the government know that they are buying military artillery from a couple of smart-talking con men.

The unlikely arm dealers are soon raking in the profits and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Soon enough they score a $300m contract with the Pentagon to arm the Afghan military. But it’s trouble from the start. They massively under-bid for the deal and struggle to come across the kit in a legitimate way. So they don’t. The young gun runners seek out the assistance of some very shady characters to help them out; even those of government watch lists.

The line between right and wrong is nowhere to be seen and Efraim will go to any lengths to complete the deal. That includes throwing David under the bus if necessary. The longer he works with his old friend the less David trusts him. But with a young family to support he doesn’t have any other choice than to follow his orders.

In an environment of profit and corruption trust is a commodity that few can afford. One wrong move and the young team are in deep shit. When it comes down to it David will finally find out what Efraim is willing to sacrifice to make his fortune.

This true-life movie comes from ‘The Hangover’ director Todd Phillips so you know from the get-go that it’s going to be a hoot. The story is so improbable it can only be true. Miles Teller brings more of the charisma we were looking for in Fantastic Four. He makes you root for him, the anti-hero that he is.

Then there’s Jonah Hill. I swear he’s really upped his game recently. The comedic timing we saw him bring to 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, This Is The End and The Wolf of Wall Street is still there and dare I say it, better than ever. You don’t want to cheer him on, I mean he’s a bad guy after all, but somehow he keeps pulling you back in.

There’s also a brief appearance from Hollywood A-lister Bradley Cooper. Even in milk bottle sunglasses Bradders kills it.

War Dogs is a jaw-dropping comedy that will both shock and amuse you in the same moment. After watching the trailer you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just a movie about spoilt rich American kids selling guns to the highest bidder. It is, but there’s so much more to it than that. It’s basically The Big Short but about the military and arms dealers rather then financial corruption.

Give War Dogs a chance and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

By Ruth Walker
★★★★☆

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