This isn’t about being pro-war. The war is happening. This is about being pro-money.–Efraim
In his latest film, The Hangover trilogy director Todd Philips dramatizes the unlikely rise of Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (Miles Teller), who found loopholes in the military’s use of privately-owned weapons to build a gun-running empire. As international arms dealers, the two high school friends are highly successful financially, but the ethical (or unethical) decisions they make, and the secrets they keep, threaten to undo them.
Packouz longs to be successful after failing at his various career attempts, and feels pressure when his girlfriend, Iz (Ana de Armas), ends up pregnant. When his slick friend rolls back into town, he ends up being sucked into the casual violence Diveroli inhabits regularly. They deceive Iz, who is specifically anti-war, and make deals with the U.S. government that make them richer, Still, their plans are complicated when a deal is jammed up by new legislature. Flying to the Middle East, the two end up delivering the guns on their own, leading them deeper and deeper into the arms race. When they end up teaming with legendary dealer Henry Girard (Bradley Cooper), their company’s downward spiral begins.
When does telling the truth ever help anybody? — Efraim
In this Warner Bros.’ release, the ‘based-on-a-true-story’ film gets a few special features on the home media Blu-ray/DVD, with Phillips’ “General Phillips: Boots on the Ground”, “War Dogs: Access Granted,” and “Pentagon Pie.” Fans of the film may find these helpful in seeing how the film came together, and may consider doing a bit of research on their own in breaking down how the strange story came to be – and how Hollywood made it even wilder.
Whether you approve of the Hollywood ‘take’ on the film or not, it’s clear that dishonesty catches up with our two antiheroes. It’s also abundantly clear that Diveroli’s influence leads Packouz down a dark and dangerous path (he does cameo in the elderly home concert scene). While the cover might make one think of Scarface, it may be more appropriate to consider this The Devil’s Advocate. Where we focus our time and attention tends to lead us – even when we say our heartfelt conviction believes otherwise.