A general from the U.S. is sent to Afghanistan to "clean" the situation up after eight years of war in the country. He finds himself among tired soldiers and disillusioned politicians eager to leave. In this situation, he feels his mission is to "win" the war, something deemed impossible by everyone around him.Written by
President Hamid Karzai's name is mispronounced by Ben Kingsley who is playing him. Should be Haamed not Hameed which is a different name even though both names are transcribed in the same way as Hamid from Pashto they are written differently in Arabic. See more »
Ah, America. You beacon of composure and proportionate response, you bringer of calm and goodness to the world... What do you do when the war you're fighting just can't possibly be won in any meaningful sense? Well, obviously, you sack the guy not winning it and you bring in some other guy. In 2009, that war was Afghanistan, and that other guy... was Glen.
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War Machine is a movie about the absurdity of the war of Afghanistan and the absurdity of American foreign policy in general. Therefore the tone of the film is absurdist to reflect this. Brad Pitt's portrayal of General McMahon is absurdly over the top and quite deliberately so in order to reflect the general's absurd actions and attitude, his interactions with the other characters including the politicians are baffling and confusing which again reflects the baffling and incoherent nature of America's policy towards Afghanistan and the Middle East. How do you wage bloody war and build a nation up at the same time? The two do not go hand in hand.
War Machine's exposes just how much of a wild goose chase the battle against the Taliban is, how do you defeat an enemy that are often nothing more than disgruntled locals who have had quite enough of American soldiers bombing civilians homes and killing their children, without committing genocide? The film makers have reflected this by showing the Gen. and his men embarking on a wild goose chase of Europe in a futile attempt to secure more troops to the cause and get some face to face communication with the President of the U.S. The theme is quite clearly wild goose chases galore.
Overall I feel War Machine is an interesting anti-war movie that is much more a dark comedy drama than a clear satire which is what it was wrongly billed as. It isn't the funniest movie in the world but it has its' laugh out loud moments. Ultimately the mixture of satirical comedy, thought provoking drama, and taut action scenes blend together to tell a story which at it's essence aims to provoke everyone who watches this movie to ask, what were/are the Americans doing in Afghanistan? 7 out of 10 and some good performances and score.
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