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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

War Dogs (2016) on IMDb

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Plot Overview

“David Packouz (Miles Teller) was an international arms dealer.” Miami Beach, 2005. “I was 22 years old,” barely squeaking by as a licensed massage therapist with an undeserved shameful rep. Then he invests his savings in bulk Egyptian cloth to sell bed sheets to old folks homes, but the aged have skin too coarse to appreciate fine linen (“It's like wrapping a lizard in chenille”), and nobody wants to spend money on old folks any­way. Then at a friend's funeral, he spies (“Is that Efraim?”) his middle school chum Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) with whom he once got in trouble (“We did ruin the shiva.”) Well, “There's no Table of Contents in the Book of Life; you don't know whether you're starting a chapter or ending one. Just be thank­ful when you turn the page.”

Efraim is up to his old tricks offering a woman at a night club $1,000 to skip ahead to the third date and give him a BJ in the parking lot. Her real boy­friend didn't like that idea. Efraim has been making a killing through fedbizop bidding on the “crumbs” the big arms dealers ignore. Needing some help (“Bush opened the flood­gates in Iraq”) and not trusting any­one, he asks David to, “come work with me.”

Their business name is AEY. The letters don't stand for anything, but if you spell it back­wards, you get, YEA. A lot of people give them a yea vote of confidence. Although David is anti-war, he is pro-money, especially since his girl­friend Iz (Ana de Armas) has fallen pregnant. She's anti-war, too, but once David gets honest with her, she's as pro-money as he is. Ralph Slutzky (Kevin Pollak) an “observant Jew” finances them. He thinks the arms are going to protect the interests of Israel. They get “the beretta deal” and after proving them­selves with “the next level,” they attract a clan­des­tine patron Henry Girard (Bradley Cooper) who can't deal openly because he's on a watch list. They land a $300 million contract from the “Pentagon arming Afghan­istan for the next war.”

The narrator admits, “We were out of our league.” Efraim is another kind of lizard, a chameleon appearing to be what his mark needs to see, in this case David's “best friend.” Like going for the BJ in the parking lot by skipping dates one & two, he skips some necessary business steps and ends up becoming what the Pentagon calls “a case study in all that is wrong with the government procurement process.”


(Prov. 16:7) “When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” David acted responsibly by taking on a money-making opportunity once he had a growing family to support. When it seemed they would be unable to deliver their commitment of Italian made arms to Iraq on account of the embargo, they went out of their way (“We use Jordan”) to “drive them to Iraq.” This “circum­vention” from Amman, Jordan to Anbar Province, Iraq took them through the “triangle of death” where they'd need inter­vention from on high to safe­guard them from the cross hairs of the Fallujah baddies. War dogs means, “bottom feeders who make money off war with­out ever setting foot on the battle­field.” They showed them­selves a step above that.

(Prov. 16:8) “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.” David had to admit in the end that he'd have been better off doing massage for peanuts than raking in the big dough that necessitated a little (“That sounds illegal”) trickiness.

Production Values

This film, “” (2016) is loosely based on a true story. It was directed by Todd Phillips. Its screen­play was written by Stephen Chin, Jason Smilovic & Phillips, based on Guy Lawson's Rolling Stone article, “Arms and the Dudes.” It stars Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas, and Bradley Cooper. The acting from the whole cast was par excellence. Teller & Hill have great chemistry together. Jonah nails it as "the guy you love to hate." Bradley Cooper shines in a relatively small role.

MPAA rated it R for language throughout, drug use and some sexual references. Jeff Groth's editing is tight, 114 minutes with­out a wasted moment. Art & Costume Design are choice. Well done action bits punctuate the narrative. Cliff Martinez's consum­mate score plays with­out distracting, a pitch perfect sound­track from the 60s–80s.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“War Dogs” is an exceptional summer movie. The acting rocks and the story engages. They wisely did not try to over­reach with silliness, drama or action. It comes off as a good story and a satisfying movie going experience.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Overall product rating: Five stars out of five. Suspense: Several suspenseful moments.