Monday, July 3, 2017

Movie review: War Machine

 Tasked with commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan and ending the war, General McMahon jumps in confident he can resolve things quickly. Instead he finds a target on his own back thanks to a journalist's expose on his overconfident attitude.

Brad Pitt (McMahon), Anthony Hayes (Pete), John Magaro (Staggart), Anthony Hall (Pulver), Emory Cohen (Dunne), Topher Grace (Little), Daniel Betts (Ball), RJ Cyler (Moon), Aymen Hamdouchi (Basim).

War Machine is a fictional story, based on a book, with a bit of humor thrown in to keep things interesting. The film begins by jumping right into the story and introducing characters via narration as some background is delivered. With prep work done and orders in hand, the story moves to Afghanistan where humor makes more of an appearance and the film finds a faster pace. The rest of the story is a mess of bumbling frustration as the soldiers engage with policy makers in an effort to complete their mission.

Pitt was pretty good with his silly facial expression and overblown military zeal. Hall was hysterical in his role and managed it quite well. Grace was solid in a smaller role, as was Kingsley in an appropriately quirky position. The remainder of the supporting cast presented well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were nicely done and blended well with minimal CGI giving the film a solid, realistic feel. Dialogue was varied, amusing, and moved things along well. Sound and soundtrack were mild but good.

War Machine may not be a blockbuster film, but the story, technical work, and acting are quite enjoyable. Though this could easily have become boring and even depressing, the comedy kept things light and entertaining. Those who like a laugh with their war should enjoy this one.

With foul language and some brief violence, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2017
Reviewed: 6.21.17
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Comedy, War, Drama, Dark Comedy, Political Comedies

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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