Docudrama War Dogs is predictably funny when called for and tense when it should be…
In other words a formulaic but enjoyable portrayal of a couple of stoner kids becoming arms dealer.
Running Time: 114 Min. Rated R
Based on a True Story
The dizzying rise and devastating fall of Diveroli and Packouz was initially recounted in Guy Lawson’s 2011 Rolling Stone story “The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders.” Lawson later expanded the story into the book Arms and the Dudes, which was the original title for the film adaptation. Reading the original article today, you can see why director Todd Phillips snatched up the rights as soon as possible – this is a true story, but it is a true story full of sex, drugs, violence, intrigue and an increasing number of poor decisions.
David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, win a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.
This is definitely one of those time when truth is stranger than fiction. Honestly you can’t make this stuff up. Apparently the detailed events are all shockingly true, with only a few things added for comedic or dramatic effect.
Let’s talk about the casting first. Unfortunately I am not familiar with Miles Teller’s body of work but if the role called for a crass, funny, Jewish stoner then Jonah Hill fits the bill perfectly. Teller also played his part well. I should also mention that Jonah Hill really wanted this role and the story. In fact he approached Diveroli for the rights but was turned down. It wasn’t till he got Todd Phillips on board that this project got the green light.
So how was it? The story itself is pretty amazing. I am going to add Diveroli’s book to my ever-increasing TBR pile. The movie was good. It was a bit contrived as I mentioned but I still enjoyed it. Jonah Hill is completely over-the-top but he usually is, so I can’t tell if that was what the role called for or if it is just Hill being Hill. Overall, War Dogs is funny, intense and entertaining. It’s not rush out to see it in the theater good, but I would recommend a private viewing at home. Even if you are just interested in learning more about this incredible tale, give it a try. I promise, that in itself will blow your mind!