War Dogs is surprisingly more enjoyable than one might assume from its trailers, pedigree and real-life inspirations. Two twentysomethings—the likable David Packouz (Miles Teller) and his irritating partner, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill)—land a gigantic defense contract to supply the Afghan army. But David’s girlfriend (Ana de Armas) has concerns about her boyfriend, the burgeoning arms dealer, and Efraim might be less straight-up than the exceedingly shady persona he exudes.
In only his second non-Hangover flick since 2009, director Todd Phillips (once, long ago, he filmed Road Trip here on the UGA campus) herds his usual crew of douchey guys. It’s a testament to Hill that he manages to make Efraim likable the more time that is spent with him. Teller’s David is too reactionary to generate much in the way of sympathy. Hangover star Bradley Cooper shows up for no more than a glorified cameo in unflattering glasses. But much like Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain, another movie about tools in trouble, War Dogs is too entertaining to dismiss out of hand. Spending more than one two-hour viewing with David and Efraim would be pushing it, but a single viewing will amuse amidst a rekindling of mild Bush-era outrage.
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