Todd Phillips, movie director, and writer who is known primarily for the Hangover trilogy is now under the spotlight again with War Dogs, a film based on a true story about two arms dealers who sign a contract to supply weapons to the U.S. Army. The film is mixed with comedy and drama, with Jonah Hill and Miles Teller starring.
Two young men eager to increase their incomes find an incredible market in the arms and weapons niche, and once in it, found themselves in an interesting adventure that proves the niche as an unsustainable operation for two guys.
The role of Rolling Stones
The original story was told for the first time in an issue of Rolling Stones, where Guy Lawson wrote an article in 2011 called “The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders.” Then, the story was turned into a book called Arms and the Dudes: How Three Miami Beach Stoners Became the Most Unlikely Gun Runners in History, where Lawson detailed, even more, the story.
Lawson also wrote “Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market and Wall Street’s Wildest Con” and “The Brotherhood: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia.”
War Dogs in real life
David Packouz, Alex Podrizki, and Efraim Diveroli, the real “War Dogs”, supplied the Army and its allies during the conflict in Afghanistan with weapons as the result of a $300 million contract they signed with the Pentagon in 2007. Both Packouz and Diveroli suddenly were rich and at their mid-20s, they became international arms dealers.
Packouz was a masseuse who decided to join Diveroli, younger than him, in the business that started with a computer, cell phones, and a significant amount of weed that drove the pair to purchase and sell weapons.
About the film
The movie has received different ratings in internet rankings as well as mixed reviews from film critics. To some, the film tells again an old story, the innocent young subject who is suddenly trapped in a dangerous world due to the desire to achieve money and power. Indeed, the plot is based on that storyline but for some critics, the fact that relies on an actual story is a major hook for the audience.
The narration uses voice-over to get the viewer get into Packouz head while he’s living the decisions he makes, but some critics’ considered that unnecessary since the acting was enough to prove the feelings and emotions Packouz felt through the story. To some, the movie was too long because it takes a considerable amount of time to show very specific moments.
What is discussed as well is whether the film is a comedy or not, since the trailer offered viewers a comedy while the movie is mostly drama and action scenes that ended up being satisfying for some and not so much for others.
To some, the film is similar to the structure and aesthetics of “The Wolf of Wall Street” in the way Phillips portrayed a mostly illegal business. The screenplay was made by the director, Todd Phillips, along with Stephen Chin, and Jason Smilovic.
Source: The Young Folks