Wednesday, August 24, 2016

War Dogs [2016]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L)  ChicagoTribune (1 1/2 Stars) (2 Stars)  AVClub (C+)  Fr. Dennis (1/2 Star)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. McCarthy) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (M. Zoller Seitz) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review

War Dogs [2016] (directed and screenplay cowritten by based on the Rolling Stone article "Arms and the Dudes" [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Guy Larson [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb]) is an ugly film about an ugly aspect of war -- Profiteering -- that will ultimately offend a lot of Viewers.

Yes, most of us will accept the premise that with War comes _some_ Profiteering.  What (I hope...) will offend most Viewers are the story's assumptions that (1) War is _only_ about Profiteering (tell that to veterans / their loved ones to say nothing of the loved ones of the war dead / injured) and (2) the two protagonists in this story deserve to be considered "just regular guys out to make a buck" (perhaps at the expense of unsuspecting "losers" -- including said VETERANS (!) as well as THE ENTIRE COUNTRY).

In the story, two twenty something "dudes" David Packouz (played by Miles Teller) and Ephraim Diveroli (played by Jonah Hill) from Miami with some startup money from somewhere find that they can make ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY finding and selling stuff to the U.S. military listed on a Pentagon sponsored procurement website (apparently a "Craigslist for Guns...").  The explanation for the creation for this strange and apparently _open_ website was an over-reaction to G.W. Bush era V.P. Dick Cheney linked Halliburton Corp having been previously given BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of "no bid" contract business by the Pentagon.  So ... the procurement website "opened the military procurement business" to BASICALLY EVERYBODY ... including the two schemers in this film.

And so the two anti-heroes ... take advantage of the system ... and at least thankfully end-up getting (somewhat) caught.  Still, honestly their punishment seemed IMHO to be very very light for the level of betrayal of the public's trust.  Sigh ... KNOWING PERSONALLY people who war risking their lives for the country (and honestly looking to eventually cover use their time in the military _to pay for college_) I do find this story appalling.

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