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War Dogs

There's an extra-fiery and pitchfork-ass-rapey circle in Hell reserved for scumbags who go to the movies with nose hair-curling, three rows-wafting body odor.  Between the reeking hippie - who was also coughing and sneezing like Typhoid Barry, natch - and the sideways baseball cap sonuvabitch playing on his phone for half the fucking movie, it's amazing I remember anything about War Dogs.

Then again, given what an Escalade-sized pile of shit War Dogs is, maybe I should be thanking Stinky and the Screen for the distractions?

Naw.  Fuck them and fuck this self-proclaimed brotastic comedy/sober statement about war profiteering that comes as close to being either as tofu does to being a ribeye.

There are exactly three things wrong with War Dogs.  Director Todd "Wilson" Phillips and leads Jonah "Hamburger" Hill and Miles "Automated" Teller.  But hey, who needs a talented director and committed stars when you've got . . . oh, right . . . not a single other fucking thing going for you.

Other than The Hangover, which wasn't the classic frat boys and stoners make it out to be but at least didn't suck whale wang, Phillips' career is littered with more bombs than London during the Blitz.  Between the Hangover sequels (each worse than the last), Due Date, School for Scoundrels, Starsky & Hutch, and now War Dogs, Phillips shouldn't be allowed to direct traffic let alone a major motion picture.

Teller blew me and a lot of other people . . . away (you sick bastards) with the amazing work he did in 2014's Whiplash.  Since then, he's turned in a string of performances ranging from "meh" to "Go fuck yourself."  He phones it in more than a telemarketer eyeing the Employee of the Month steak knife set.  You can almost see him mentally reviewing his grocery list during most of War Dogs.

Aaaannd . . . Jonah Hill's fat again.  He's like the Jewish white boy version of Oprah.  No matter how quasi-thinish he gets every couple of years, you know with FIFA corruption certainty that he's going to balloon up eventually.  As the coke-snorting, back-stabbing, Gila monster-looking arms dealer Efraim Diveroli, Hill is a bouncing beach ball of dramatic shortcuts.  His slicked back hair, high-pitched faker-than-fake laugh and callback lines like "Who is this fucking guy?" take the place of any actual acting effort.

Based on the true story of a couple of 20-somethings who conned their way into a $300M contract to supply weapons to the U.S. government in support of its continuing wars for oil/bolstering of the military-industrial complex, War Dogs could have used humor to soften the blows of some scathing social commentary like The Big Short did so outstandingly.

Instead, War Dogs is all unnecessary title cards, hammer-meets-nail musical choices and Phillips security blankets like scenes set in Vegas and Bradley "Mini" Cooper playing a jerk.

This Dog couldn't hunt dragons with a heat-seeking missile.

August 19, 2016