All Bark, No Bite: A review of War Dogs

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Not as bad as I thought it would be nor as good as it could have been. In the end, War Dogs is a mix of The Wolf of Wolf Street and Goodfellas without any of the bite that came with the pedigree of a strong leader like Scorsese. Todd Phillips is a competent director and there are good moments of visual flair scattered throughout the runtime but It just doesn’t completely reward my patience.

It wasn’t boring but I wouldn’t watch it again. It was another male-driven fantasy that portrays women as stay at home wives and mothers without amply satirising the fantasy to put people off it and giving the women even a modicum of intelligent character.

Jonah Hill gives a career best performance as the slimiest person you ever did meet. His character (a wannabe Scarface) is suitably repellent and it perhaps saves the film from total mediocrity. He’s an imposing figure and if anything at all, I’m glad this War Dogs gave him the chance to get to lead this film where he was only the sideman in his previous dramatic roles.

Trouble is Miles Teller is simply the straight man here, his brand of deadpan delivery on loan from most of his other roles is simply not that interesting and he doesn’t ever seem like anything is really troubling him.

There were some good scenes, some ok moments and I sort of liked the way the relationship between the two leads slowly fell apart.

It’s just there’s something forgettable about it. It’s a little funny occasionally and there are a lot of touches of the Goodfellas about but I’ve just seen it all before, done better and there are films that satirise masculinity whilst having good female characters too.

This wasn’t it.

Rating: C+

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