REVIEW: War Inc. is a strange bird of a film. It’s a dark comedy, absurdist and surreal. Yet, it has very grounded story elements, such as a war theater that looks remarkably like Iraq.
I wanted to like this film more than I did. There is very little coming out of Hollywood with a political bite to it. Those that appear to say something are usually so watered down as to be counterproductive. This film at least remains true to its dark commentary on current events.
However, the main problem with this film is the story itself. The central character, Cusack’s, is not very likable, nor very believable. Throw in an unlikely coincidence about his daughter character, and there you have a recipe for blah. Big budget blah, with interesting commentary on immoral American objectives and practices in the middle east. But blah nonetheless.
The hardest part of a political film is not the politics. It’s getting the characters and story to resonate. That’s where War Inc. left me on the battlefield. I was disappointed that they couldn’t have come up with a better story that didn’t rely on ridiculous coincidences and unlikely action set-pieces. Is this a mindless “action” movie or a satire? I really didn’t care about these characters or their ultimate fates. And I wanted to, going in.
This battle was lost on the page before any cameras rolled. Perhaps it was Cusack’s choice of a central character. Perhaps it was studio interference in the main conflict and resolution: make it about ‘family,’ instead of about the mass murder and atrocity that seemed to be the point?
It didn’t work as a comedy. And it didn’t work as a drama. So, I guess it’s something else entirely. It’s watchable, but not lovable.