Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of going to see Warner Bros. Pictures’ War Dogs. When I saw the words ‘Based On A True Story’ appear on the screen as the movie was beginning, I started to grip the armrests of the theatre seat a little tighter. Mostly because I know when I see those words it’s either going to knock it so far out of the park that we will see a triple header, or we will be screaming ‘foul ball’ for months to come. Surprisingly enough, I found neither to be true. Rather some middle of the road is where the film rested. It gave a solid hit, but never quite reached home run status, and here’s why…
First off, the story was solid. Throughout the 114 minute film, I could see the three act structure which it followed, and I also pretty easily identify it’s, plot points, rising action, etc. Which made it predictable, but enjoyable since the story was slightly unorthodox. The film made mention to Scarface often, but never lived up to the complexities or nuances of the 70s classic. I believe that War Dog’s saving grace was definitely the ending, and I won’t spoil it for you.
No one in the film gave a bad performance. Everyone was very solid, and I think that this group of talent was very well cast. The only thing that I will say is that the stakes could have been a little higher. This way we could’ve seen more extremes and been taken on a more exciting journey. I think this might have been more of a director call.
With that being said, I would’ve loved to also see the comedic stakes taken a little further as well. I went into the film expecting Jonah Hill to take me on a roller coaster laugh-a-thon in between the drama, but instead I ended up riding one of the original wooden baby roller coasters at Kennywood. Hill obviously had the comedic spotlight shined on him, so when he didn’t deliver to the extend I thought he was going to, I was a little disappointed. I think this was because he didn’t have many chances. Jonah’s co-star Miles Teller was the foil, but the dynamic of this relationship wasn’t as turned up as it could’ve been, which left me wanting a little more.
In conclusion, the story was good, the acting was good, and the comedy was good….but not great. I had high hopes for War Dogs. The film had the potential to be a hit, but never achieved said potential. My suggestion?…Wait until it comes out on Netflix because watching it there almost guarantees that you will be well satiated.