War, Inc - some thoughts

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Last night, I watched War, Inc, a film with John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Dan Ackroyd, Ben Kingsley and more. I was disappointed. I’d stumbled upon it following someone mentioning that it was 20 years since Gross Point Blank had come out and that this was the closest to a sequel.

I went into this deliberately suppressing my expectations. The story is a condemnation and extrapolation of American power politics. The set up is that Cusack is a hit man (shades of GPB, The Numbers Station and more) who is hired   to take a position in a country that has recently been overthrown by Tamerlane, a company that has had US military activity sub-contracted to it. Joan Cusack reprises to role of his assistant from GPB, and Dan Ackroyd plays the head of Tamerlane (and former US Vice-President).

He is nominally in charge of the Expo that is meant to show that the country is open for business, but he’s really there to kill businessman that is making things awkward for Tamerlane and the US. His work is complicated by the fact that there is an attractive and inquisitive reporter, and a central-asian pop-star (whose wedding is the final part of the Expo) who need to be managed. Add to that the fact that the country is not really pacified and resistance is active.

For me, the film was clumsy; it wasn’t clear if it was satire or farce and the plot became incredibly messy which meant that it didn’t deliver its message. It misfires all the way through. There are some really clever elements, but overall it feels like the script didn’t have a focus. It’s more like an unfocussed scream of anger about US policy, but the lack of focus means it doesn’t land well. Disappointing.

14 April 2017
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