Based on a true story first published in Rolling Stone, War Dogs tells the tale of two bros who lie, scam and skew their moral compasses to become big-money arms dealers for troops in post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan. Phillips (The Hangover) breaks new ground by helming an amorality tale that nakedly yearns to be this generation’s Goodfellas: a crime drama about the warped pursuit of the American Dream, laced with slick comedic beats and voice-over narration. He emulates but fails to equal Scorsese’s significantly more ambitious efforts – the film frequently feels devoid of substance, and lacks insight into how governments and corporations benefit from conflict. Thankfully, Jonah Hill justifies the price of admission, stealing the show with his larger-than-life, scenery chewing turn as a progressively sinister antihero.
War Dogs | Directed by Todd Phillips (USA 2016), with Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Starts September 29.