By: Kendra Thornton
I love Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, but I did not love War Dogs. Personally, I don’t think that the story had enough depth for me to get emotionally involved or attached to any of the characters in the film. I actually ended up getting most attached to Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), the character viewers were supposed to hate. War Dogs is about a couple of Miami arms dealers who make a fortune providing guns and bullets to the US military during the height of the Bush administration’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is based on a Rolling Stone article and book by Guy Lawson.
I think where the film went wrong is that they chose to have the story narrated by David Packouz (Miles Teller) instead of Efraim Diveroli. David is a nice, normal guy who is simply trying to make ends meet, and just so happens to get caught up in this life of being an overnight millionaire. I think it would have been much more interesting to see the story through Efraim’s perspective he is a much more complex character. Efraim is the source of all of the conflict, but since the film follows David, we don’t have a problem with being on David’s side and not thinking once about Efraim.
This film reminds me so much of Wolf of Wall Street, but I think that War Dogs falls short in ways that Wolf of Wall Street pulls of so brilliantly. In Wolf of Wall Street, we follow these characters who are clearly in the wrong, yet as viewers we are conflicted by how we feel about them because at the same time they are so fun and complex. We can still identify with them somehow. Because War Dogs follows David, viewers don’t experience this internal conflict. We can simply create two boxes with one “good guys” and the other “bad guys” and have no problem sorting them out. It honestly just felt like such a waste because Efraim really is such a great character. He is so absurd but I bought every second of it. I especially loved his crazy laugh during uncomfortable/tense moments. Check out this scene from the film and you’ll see what I mean! Don’t worry it’s not a spoiler!
Don’t get me wrong, this film was still fun to watch, I just don’t think it met its potential.