War Dogs is in many ways a mistake. A good, admirable one. But nonetheless a mistake. Almost as if Jonah Hill’s character is going to deny or defend it.
The co-writer and director Todd Phillips makes a wannabe Adam McKay alike biography. Unfortunately, it is not smart. It is not sensible. What it is, is light on feet. And that’s a double edged sword. That is not to say that when the time comes the film fails to draw in necessary emotions. Though not powerful, that pull you feel towards these characters is through performance and not the way it is portrayed. Phillips is smart enough to realize that within the next four lines the script asks him to shift the tone in a snap. What he then does, is make us walk through long one shot elaborated scenes that puts us right into the middle of the desert- often, literally! This is how the film remains to be for the most part of its run. You see each of these artists, on screen, straining themselves to achieve something higher from the script that never even existed in the first place. There is disappointment. Dissatisfaction comes from the incompleteness. Certain expectations are built in this completely-new-world, for the audience, and we are repeatedly shot down. We never get to seal the deal. The good scenes are overpowered by the dull ones and its muddy speech, is somehow, the spine of the film. How will it stand tall, then? Even Todd who is exceptional in sliding in his sense of humour, fails to cook its content into favoured crisp texture. Neither are these dogs trustworthy, nor are they an important piece of the puzzle at war times. If anything they are the ones spoiling the definition, the meaning behind all of it; if there is!