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War, Inc. Review

This movie is a satire on America’s involvement in countries such as Iraq, and also the influence of big business on the American government.

But don’t let that bother you – it’s a fun romp!

This stars John Cusack as Brand Hauser, a reluctant assasin. Here, Cusack perfects his downtrodden, angst ridden style. He’s perfect for the role, and in some ways it’s reminscent of his turn in Gross Pointe Blank.

Hauser has been sent to the troubled nation of Turaqistan (an obvious play on Iraq/Afghanistan) to kill the leader there, named Omar Sharif (seriously) and allow the american appointed Viscount to take control. His cover? He’s to become the manager of a trade expo – a truly shambolic affair.

Hauser is working for the Tamerlane corporation, which is also running america. Turaqistan is held by a private army controlled by the company. As stated at the beginning of the film multinational business concerns now rule the world in place of true nations. Here tanks and soliders carry advertising.

The first half of the movie sets up a little of Hausers background and covers his arrival in the troubled country. There he joins up with Marsha who is running the trade expo (played crazily by Cusacks sister, Joan) and he falls in love with Natalie Hegalhuzen (Marissa Tomei). He also meets Yonica Babyyeah, a popstar, who is to get married at the expo. Yonica is acted surprisingly well by Hillary Duff – and if you didn’t know that you might not even have noticed it was her!

The jokes are rather hit and miss. Ben Kingsley (or Sir Ben Kinglsey as he apparently insists on being called ) plays Hausers ex boss, and he provides much of the comic relief with his over the top performance.

Sub plots include a gang of arab videographers, arab rappers, Hauser’s past, and numerous twists and turns in the story.

While the beginning of the movie is almost dreamlike, with Hauser practically sleepwalking through his role, the second half takes a nasty turn. Outside the “Emerald Zone” of the city a true war is taking place. We see mass shootings, hanging soldiers, and a lot of action. This is an obvious reflection on the situation in Iraq itself and is a blatant condemnation of the international “peacekeeping” there.

Whatever your political views this is a well acted and written film. The plot can misfire at times, and the humour might or might not work for you. It’s a strange mix. There’s also a cameo by Dan Aykroyd as Mr Vice President. He hasn’t got much to do here – but apparently Ghostbusters 3 is coming 🙂

Rating: 8 / 10 – intelligent, but variable comedy not loved by the critics.

IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes

Note: I’ve tried not to give away spoilers in this review, but the trailer does. Don’t watch if you want to enjoy the movie 🙂