Posted by: greercn | August 30, 2016

War Dogs

Arms dealing has an awful lot of laughs, as work goes. Who knew?

I always assumed you died young, if you took that job. You certainly caused a lot of needless deaths.

But here, it’s all a great romp. The cast is dominated by excellent performances by Miles Teller and Jonah Hill. They play real-life druggies David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli who met at a synagogue in Miami and ruled the world of small-scale arms dealers, for a few years.

David Packouz has a brief scene acting as a singer at a retirement home.

“War Dogs” plays fast and loose with the truth of the case, to make us love these guys. And having two very charming and funny guys in the leads is meant to make us see the lighter side of death and of the Pentagon’s buying systems.

Yes, I laughed a lot. Todd Phillips of “Hangover” fame directs this with quick-moving action and laddish laughs.

Bradley Cooper is only here briefly but adds great menace to the mix. Ana de Armes is very charming as Packouz’ love interest.

Patrick St Esprit, Shaun Toub, JB Blanc and Gabriel Spahiu shine in smaller parts.

All of us at a very-full Stratford East Picturehouse enjoyed it. It is an incredibly entertaining movie.

Guy Lawson wrote the Rolling Stone magazine article “Arms and the Dudes” that “War Dogs” is based on.

But it doesn’t feel like a salutary warning about the damage done by drugs, guns and war. It feels like a romp among the rich, with a few icky bits in nasty places that have actual criminals. Packouz got seven months of house arrest for his crimes.

Perhaps I should reconsider my future. There’s just one problem. My ethics would never permit me to do such things. Oh well.



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