War Dogs - Muzzle Firmly in Place

War Dogs - Muzzle Firmly in Place

War Dogs was Todd Phillips' chance to make a good movie.

He did not succeed.

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Disappointing. When I read about this I'd hoped for something akin to Lord of War, which I loooved

Should put a recommendation; watch Lord of War instead. Even if you've already seen it. Watch it again.

It's easy for me to forget that "dramady" is a thing. I watch the TV spots for this and think, is this meant to be funny? And it's based on a true story? Do they think this has a shot at an Oscar?

Xsjadoblayde:
Should put a recommendation; watch Lord of War instead. Even if you've already seen it. Watch it again.

Agreed. Lord of War is the superior of the sub-subgenre of "Dark comedies based on the lives of arms dealers". There are parts of it that were really funny, like watching a machine gun slowed down to make cash register sounds after each shot.

I feel that the rating is a bit low, but having seen the film yesterday, I pretty much agree with Mater. By itself, War Dogs is a fairly funny, fairly informative movie. However, I can't help but think of similar films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short, The Social Network, or even Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Iraq, Afganistan, etc.). War Dogs lacks the 'bite' that all of them (bar WTF) have. Similar to WoWS, we have two male leads who sniff cocaine, move into fancy houses, and live the good life. Like Social Network, we have a similar nightclub scene, where Zuckerberg and Sean discuss how "now is our time." Like The Big Short, War Dogs focuses on fairly recent events that continue to be relevant today. But for whatever reason, War Dogs just doesn't work as well as these films do.

Am I being unfair, holding it against a film for just being average, and not as good as its contempories? Yeah, probably. But at the end of the day, War Dogs is a film that employs similar narrative techniques, but just isn't that funny, and isn't that informative either. But not a bad movie by any means.

Edit: That said, the film has got me listening to Fortunate Son because of THAT moment (yeah, those who saw the film know what I'm talking about), so there's that I guess.

I thought Lord of War was just an OK movie. I did love Jared Leto's performance in it. Overall, it just kept bashing the audience over the head repeatedly that arms dealing is bad. Which is something that a majority of people believe already.

I think the apt comparison of War Dogs would be The Wolf of Wall Street. How Marter felt about War Dogs was how I felt about The Wolf of Wall Street when I first saw it. I was expecting some moral condemnation of the characters. However, with War Dogs, I thought it's wise to not be that harsh with the characters. I thought the wife of Miles Teller character was a solid Jiminy Cricket character. Also, who haven't known people who continue to stay with their spouses who constantly lie to them or worse?

I liked War Dogs. It was pretty much a critic-proof movie for me. I thought Jonah Hill gave a great performance. The only complaint is something that been going on with a lot of movies recently. It's the generic jukebox songs that people have heard a million times already. Like Fortunate Son by CCR. Which, by the way, I like that song. However, it doesn't lyrically reflects what is going on in the scene. I think this was what James Gunn was referring to when he apologize to the audience about his soundtrack choice. He knew other movies were going to copy it without knowing how to use it properly.

KissingSunlight:

I think the apt comparison of War Dogs would be The Wolf of Wall Street. How Marter felt about War Dogs was how I felt about The Wolf of Wall Street when I first saw it. I was expecting some moral condemnation of the characters. However, with War Dogs, I thought it's wise to not be that harsh with the characters. I thought the wife of Miles Teller character was a solid Jiminy Cricket character. Also, who haven't known people who continue to stay with their spouses who constantly lie to them or worse?

I liked War Dogs. It was pretty much a critic-proof movie for me. I thought Jonah Hill gave a great performance. The only complaint is something that been going on with a lot of movies recently. It's the generic jukebox songs that people have heard a million times already. Like Fortunate Son by CCR. Which, by the way, I like that song. However, it doesn't lyrically reflects what is going on in the scene. I think this was what James Gunn was referring to when he apologize to the audience about his soundtrack choice. He knew other movies were going to copy it without knowing how to use it properly.

I don't think Wolf of Wall Street would have worked nearly as well if it took the time to condemn Belfort's actions. Sure, most people will agree that what he did was shady at best, and outright illegal at worst, but you don't need a film to tell you that. Especially since the film is shot as if Belfort himself is 'taking the viewer for a ride,' so he's not really going to morally condemn himself.

However, I do feel that Fortunate Son does match the scene in question, even if not exactly. Fortunate Son is a song that's been subject to lots of interpretation, but generally, it's been seen as anti-war, and criticizing the conduct of war without consequence (e.g. government sending off youth to fight their battles). So in the scene, we have something reminiscent of the Vietnam War, with a low-tech guerilla force coming under attack by a high-tech military force with a helicopter to boot, yet the way the scene is shot conveys apathy/annoyance on the soldiers' part. One of them gives the protagonists the finger, and the camera shows things in a sort of slow, apathic motion. It then shows the joy the two protagonists are experiencing - they're alive, and are about to get paid for the Beretta deal, profiting off a war without taking part in the conflict themselves or being subject to the same risks (their drive through Fallujah notwithstanding). Basically the entire concept of a 'war dog' or arms trader.

Hawki:

KissingSunlight:

I think the apt comparison of War Dogs would be The Wolf of Wall Street. How Marter felt about War Dogs was how I felt about The Wolf of Wall Street when I first saw it. I was expecting some moral condemnation of the characters. However, with War Dogs, I thought it's wise to not be that harsh with the characters. I thought the wife of Miles Teller character was a solid Jiminy Cricket character. Also, who haven't known people who continue to stay with their spouses who constantly lie to them or worse?

I liked War Dogs. It was pretty much a critic-proof movie for me. I thought Jonah Hill gave a great performance. The only complaint is something that been going on with a lot of movies recently. It's the generic jukebox songs that people have heard a million times already. Like Fortunate Son by CCR. Which, by the way, I like that song. However, it doesn't lyrically reflects what is going on in the scene. I think this was what James Gunn was referring to when he apologize to the audience about his soundtrack choice. He knew other movies were going to copy it without knowing how to use it properly.

I don't think Wolf of Wall Street would have worked nearly as well if it took the time to condemn Belfort's actions. Sure, most people will agree that what he did was shady at best, and outright illegal at worst, but you don't need a film to tell you that. Especially since the film is shot as if Belfort himself is 'taking the viewer for a ride,' so he's not really going to morally condemn himself.

However, I do feel that Fortunate Son does match the scene in question, even if not exactly. Fortunate Son is a song that's been subject to lots of interpretation, but generally, it's been seen as anti-war, and criticizing the conduct of war without consequence (e.g. government sending off youth to fight their battles). So in the scene, we have something reminiscent of the Vietnam War, with a low-tech guerilla force coming under attack by a high-tech military force with a helicopter to boot, yet the way the scene is shot conveys apathy/annoyance on the soldiers' part. One of them gives the protagonists the finger, and the camera shows things in a sort of slow, apathic motion. It then shows the joy the two protagonists are experiencing - they're alive, and are about to get paid for the Beretta deal, profiting off a war without taking part in the conflict themselves or being subject to the same risks (their drive through Fallujah notwithstanding). Basically the entire concept of a 'war dog' or arms trader.

I was hoping The Wolf of Wall Street would be more like The Big Short. An insightful movie about greed ruined America's economy. I have came around to appreciate that movie for what it was.

About my complaint about the soundtrack, it's not particularly that Fortunate Son moment. War Dogs, like a few other movies this year, seems to rely too much on classic rock tunes that everybody is familiar with. The worst offender being Suicide Squad.

 

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