War on film

OUT NOW! John Michael McDonagh's WAR ON EVERYONE is the writer-director’s first genuine misfire.

This off-kilter tale about two corrupt New Mexico cops (a hunched, very bland Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña doing his level best) getting in over their heads with an unscrupulous British lord (Theo James, who is less threatening than a plimsoll) is a wannabe acidic action-comedy which falls short both on thrills and on laughs. It cheaply emulates superior writing (Shane Black and Quentin Tarantino are obvious touchstones) and tries far too hard to be a wry love letter to, and send-up of, buddy cop films. Instead, War on Everyone only manages to be an irritatingly self-serving film in which McDonagh ups the ante on contrived zingers and overly-literate references in order to deflect from the fact that his third film is not as mordantly impressive as his previous effort Calvary, or his far wittier The Guard. Seek these out instead of this clunker. 

War On Everyone | Directed by John Michael McDonagh (USA, 2016) with Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña. Starts November 17.

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