War Dogs Movie Review

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“War Dogs” follows the true story of AEY, a government weapons contract buyer who acts as a middleman between the government and vendors. Is it a movie that people will walk out of the theatre feeling they enjoyed? Maybe. Will audiences remember this movie past its initial theatrical release? I don’t think so.

“War Dogs” follows the story of Efraim Diveroli (played by Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (played by Miles Teller) as they purchase government weapons contracts under their company AEY. They get the name “War Dogs” since they sell guns to the military without actually dealing with the guns themselves. Though the name is meant to be derogatory for what they do, they embrace the name and even like it. Using a public government contract website, they make bids on small deals that most of the big companies don’t even notice exist. Doing so still makes them hundreds of thousands each and allows them to live wealthily.

If you have seen any of the trailers for this movie, you have seen the movie. There are no surprises or spoilers to be had from this movie, and you can guess what is going to happen next easily. The movie is broken up into segments by moments of a black screen with white text. After the second one, you will realize that the text is a direct quote from the segment to lead into what will become of the movie during that segment. It leaves little suspense as you will get title cards such as “When has a lie ever hurt someone” and “If I wanted you dead, you would be dead”, so what will happen during that segment is fairly obvious. The quotes almost become a game of Where’s Waldo where after the title card comes up–you are just waiting for someone to say the line.

The story is very bland and comes off as a typical drug cartel story (albeit not about a drug cartel). The two main characters do something illegal, something then happens that prevents them from doing it, and, finally, they have to do something dangerous or even more illegal in order to get the contract fulfilled. You can almost guess everything that will happen five minutes before it happens. When you add the title sequence cards into the mix, you lose all moments of suspense that the movie could possibly have had.

Sometimes, a movie with a subpar story can still be redeemed by the cast (such as “Suicide Squad”), but this is not one of those. Miles Teller does a decent job with his acting, but nothing really sold to me that he is David Packouz. He seemed to be aiming to play the role very safely and doesn’t pull off anything spectacular. Jonah Hill plays Jonah Hill in this movie. His role is the same as most of his others, except for his awkward laugh, which is funny at the beginning but gets old fast.

“War Dogs” just doesn’t have any surprises to it and feels like a movie that will pass in time and everyone will forget shortly after it opens in theatres. By no means is it a bad movie, but it is just average. I’m sure some people will get a thrill out of this movie and love it, but for the average person, I would wait a few months for it to show up on Netflix.