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Non-Review Review: War Dogs

At one point in the movie War Dogs, manipulative sociopath Efraim Diveroli presents his naive business partner David Packouz with a gift.

It is a sequence that is as illustrative of War Dogs as it is key for Efraim. The gift in question is a golden hand grenade, a gesture of tremendous subtlety on the part of the film and its secondary lead. See, Efraim and David are self-described gun runners. More than that, they are ostentatious over-the-top gun runners with no sense of tact and the bare minimum of business sense. What better way for Efraim to convey this to David (and for the film to convey it to the audience) than through the gift of a gold-plated hand grenade.

"Quick question: do we HAVE to be framed with these picture of Bush and Cheney? I mean, I think people get it."

“Quick question: do we HAVE to be framed with these picture of Bush and Cheney? I mean, I think people get it.”

However, the kicker comes in the inscription that Efraim has engraved on the bottom of the ridiculous gift. “The world is yours,” the grenade seems to promise its owner. It is, of course, a line from Scarface. It is, in fact, a line from both versions of Scarface. It is the bitterly ironic sentiment that closes out the film, an encapsulation of the greed and hubris that led the two gangster protagonists their downfall. Conveyed through advertising, it was also a stinging commentary on the American Dream. It was the height of irony, a cynical sting at the end of a moral fable.

There is a sense that Efraim does not necessarily understand irony. Having watched War Dogs, it is not entirely clear that the film does either.

Cool gun runnings.

Cool gun runnings.

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