Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.
Two friends in their early 20s (Hill and Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military - a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government. Based on true events.Written by
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This film is definitely worth the watch. Jonah Hill and Myles Teller both shine superbly in this film, and Bradley Cooper has some genuine mystique about him during his performance. However, this is the second film I have seen this year, that seems to try and recapture the brilliance of Martin Scorcese's 'Wolf of wall street'. What I mean by that is both this film and 'The Big Short' take a complex real life event, that not a whole lot of people fully understood, and made a film that took time to make light of the scenarios, and tried to explain them to the audience in a common way.
This film does it well, and beats 'The Big Short' as it was definitely the easier film to follow. However, it does use a lot of comedy aspects from 'Wold of Wall Street'. You compare Jonah Hill's character Efraim to Donnie his character from TWOWS, they are exactly the same for the first half of this movie. Also, this movie makes light of a very serious real life scenario, and felt to safe considering the context. It's to light hearted and the only real drama or tension comes from the two friends.
On it's own this film is highly re-watchable, and that's down to the lightheartedness, but take a second to stop and think about the real life story, it feels to lighthearted. With Wall Street it worked because all the characters were terrible people, so it was funny to see them mess up. Here, Myles Teller plays a very likable character, and with some of the sinister characters, this film needed to feel more threatening.
However, credit is where credits due, the film did a great job of breaking down how arms dealing works, the same way TWOWS did for stock brokering. and the tone just felt fun, and made it easy to watch. To use wrestling terms, the heel turn seemed a little off, and needed more build, and also just the amount of similarities to TWOWS, from the way they close it out, to Jonah Hill's performance, just the narration by Teller, these films are almost parallel, so that holds this film back from being truly great.
But, the funny thing is, this film works. Hill's performance as both a comedic and dramatic actor is fantastic, he balances the two so well. If you haven't seen TWOWS, your going to love this move a hell of a lot, while the film lacks the risks to make it an instant classic, and is to lighthearted on the seriousness of this real life industry, its still fun and re-watchable, and the script and how this film flows just makes it enjoyable viewing.
I know I have talked long about the lack of originality, but honestly besides that and the lack of tone, or pushing the boundaries, the film does its job well. Hill and Teller have great chemistry, and I could go back and watch this over and over again. The effort to make people aware of this event can not be faulted, and they made arms dealing and the art of war a lot easier to understand that Big Short did for the financial crisis in 08. The sinister tone to end it, was definitely a tonal shift, but I won't spoil it for you here. I'm just going to say, you will have fun, if you're a fan of TWOWS or similar films, or you really enjoy Jonah Hill or Myles Teller, they deliver. I'm giving it a 4/5 stars.
If it pushed the boundaries more, and had more originality I would have given it a 4.5 which I only reserve for great movies. As it is though, it's a re-watchable, fun, well acted, educational film. And you won't even know you're being educated.
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