War Dogs follows the story of David Packouz (Miles Teller), a young man trying to make a living as a massage therapist. With the arrival of a newborn baby on the way, David is in desperate need of money. Timed to perfection, David's childhood best friend, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), arrives back in town, and after the two do some catching up, David discovers that Efraim is an international arms dealer, and he offers David a job. The two start out with some small time deals, feeding off the "crumbs" and leaving the "pie" for everyone else. That is until a $300 million deal with the pentagon arises, requesting them to supply arms to soldiers in Afghanistan, and it's this job that puts them in some rather tricky situations, to say the least.
Director Todd Phillips has previously handled films such as the Hangover trilogy and Due Date. With War Dogs, he still retains his perfect comedic timing, as there are some laugh out loud hilarious moments, but he also matures a little bit, able to tell a meaningful and important story. It may just be the most well directed film he's made to date, as it doesn't feel like a flimsy comedy, but instead a well put together movie. He stepped his game up and it worked.
The biggest downside to War Dogs is that, while the story itself is fresh, the filmmaking and storytelling tropes felt very familiar. With Miles Teller serving as our narrator, we're spoon fed every bit of information, and this is done through techniques we've seen time and time again. Nothing about the way they handle the subject matter is innovative, and sure, it's a very entertaining and well directed movie, but really, it's nothing new. You won't leave the cinema with your mind blown, but for what it was, it's a hell of a good time.