War Dogs has made its way onto Digital HD and is released on Blu-ray and DVD November 22nd. While we reviewed the film in depth upon its theatrical release, let’s take a second look as we give the home release a gander.
Starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, War Dogs follows in some giant footstep. Focusing on the arms trade during the Bush administration, War Dogs is one of many “true story” inspired films glamorizing seedy grey areas of business. Two childhood friends exploit a government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on government contracts. Of course, shady elements come into play and things are never as simple as they seem.
Wolf of Wall Street by way of Lord of War is the first thing that come to mind while watching this film. Especially since Jonah Hill also stars in the former. Much like Lord of War, War Dogs is actually a really fun film to watch. It’s the perfect kind of film to watch on video or cable. Not quite good enough to pay ten bucks a pop for but at home you’re sure to be entertained.
The plot is pretty paint-by-numbers. We’ve seen this same basic story over and over again. Even though it was based on true events makes it no less predictable while watching. Especially if you’ve seen one of those other films I mentioned. You know almost exactly the structure you’re getting. Plus the stakes never feel as high as they were in those other, better films. I don’t blame the film for this, the truth of it is the real world story itself didn’t have huge stakes.
Hill and Teller make a great team and they have a natural chemistry that shows strong in the film. Teller’s constant narration comes across like a lesser Henry Hill of Goodfellas. A cameo performance from Bradley Cooper both raises the caliber of the film while also coming across like a favor. Makes you wonder whether he did it because he has a producing credit, or did he get one FOR doing it.
Nevertheless, War Dogs takes a tried and true formula and executes it in a B+ fashion. While I might not sit down to decidedly watch it again from start to finish, it is the kind of film I would come across on cable and sit and watch for twenty minute chunks.
The film’s Blu-ray release is a great video transfer (which today should be a given by now). Crisp colors and deep blacks, this film was well shot and it shows. The exotic locales look just fantastic. Todd Phillips might be known mostly for his comedy directing but much like his Hangover films, this movie looks way better than you would expect. Different color temperatures and varying levels of dark and light run throughout the film, yet everything always looks crisp and easy to follow. A solid audio mix but nothing mind-blowing. Sound effects, music, and dialogue are well balanced. Just a very solid video release.
Blu-ray Special Features:
- General Phillips: Boots on the Ground – A pretty basic behind-the-scenes featurette. Less than ten minutes and with the insight of an HBO “First Look” segment.
- War Dogs: Access Granted – An interesting look at one of the real people from this story. Some fascinating tidbits, but should have been longer.
- Pentagon Pie – A Schoolhouse Rock style animated music video, likely a cut sequence from the film. Cute but repetitive and not terribly interesting.
Just above a bare bones release, less than twenty five minutes of total bonus content. Don’t purchase War Dogs for the features, just the film. A solid addition to your library, but it would be a great one if we got some more in-depth features on the real life aspects.
War Dogs is now available on Blu-ray, 4K, DVD, and Digital HD.
WBHE generously provided Hotchka with a Blu-ray copy of the film for reviewing purposes.