War Dogs seems like a film with a ton of potential, because of the people involved in it, but lacks the spark to make it anything other than okay. The problem seems to be that the crew wanted to tell a true story and make the audience laugh but didn't fully understand, given the source material, how to do that. War Dogs is intermittently funny, but relies too much on cliches, and fails to pack any kind of a punch. If you're trying to figure out what kind of a movie this is, picture The Big Short with a slightly lesser known crew. War Dogs did have a lot going for it, namely the talents of Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, as well as the direction of Todd Phillips (The Hangover Trilogy.) Above that the trailers for this film looked fairly funny, but note that almost all of the genuinely funny parts of the movie are contained in the trailer. That being said the film often tries to take a more dramatic approach, and fails to ever generate a hilarious moment. That being said both Miles Teller and Jonah Hill's performances are great in this film. While Teller and Hill are great in this film it really feels too familiar, as if you've seen it before. That shouldn't be the case with a film about two men in their twenties running guns in the Iraq War. That being said it ends up making it's characters into cliches, and tells an overdone storyline about rags to riches idiots, and betrayal of best friends. It really is a shame because, as I mentioned before, this film could've been very original and interesting, but ends up being like most other films of today, more recycled than anything else. Above that the film fails, at what it ultimately wants to do, which is pack a punch. It seems self evident watching it, that the director and writers wanted to expose a scary problem in America, and at the same time generate a few laughs. In that sense it's a lot like The Big Short, however War Dogs fails to ever do what it strives to do. Where The Big Short was informational, funny, and in the end terrifyingly honest, War Dogs is not. This movie may have a moment or two, but seems to miss it's intended mark on both ends, in that it's not as funny as it'd like to be nor is it as damning. In the end War Dogs feels like more of an average film, which is disappointing because it had the potential to do everything wanted to. If you expect a great comedy, it's not really that, if you're expecting a great look at true and terrifying events that led to two young immature men running guns for America, it's not really that either. War Dogs is funny, well acted, and has a story to tell, but relies on cliches, stereotypes, and doesn't offer very much thought provoking material. This is a good film if you want a few chuckles but it doesn't supply a ton of laughs.
Based on a true story, “War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s living in Miami during the first Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military—a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.