War, Inc.
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  • Doesn't hold a candle to Grosse Pointe Blank
    This movie is an unofficial sequel to Grosse Pointe Blank, which is a true American classic. With a lot of the same actors and writers, War Inc. tries to be Grosse Pointe Blanke but with a quasi-political slant on today's events in the Middle East. It drives home some great points and decent comedy on certain events if you know about these things. For the average viewer a lot of the comedy will be lost because they don't follow NPR, or watch anything but Fox news.

    The movie as a whole fails completely, in cinematography, direction, and overall story. John Cusack's charm isn't enough to save it. You rent it and you'll see that if you're a really big fan of GPB, this comes off as like a spoof on GPB, instead of an unofficial sequel. It's an extremely odd feeling, after watching the same actors who graced us with GPB, to end up with a lame duck of a movie.

    I know that GPB's magic will never be recreated. And this movie is proof of that statement. ...more info
  • A must see, but bring your brain
    There are so many layers to this movie, all dead (pan) on target that even though it is a very funny and entertaining film on first blush it rises to comedic greatness with subsequent viewings. (A highly recommended exercise)
    I am a very active "peace worker" and I have planned a group pot-luck with all of my fellow activists. Any idea what I plan to whip out? (clean it up, now)
    Share the word, buy the movie. This one is golden....more info
  • Film tries to be a black comedy, but is simply an "Ishtar" for the new millenium!!
    I thought "Wow, John Cusack as a hit man with issues, Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei? What the &%$#, it's a dollar rental." I was ripped off.
    When Dan Ackroyd & Joan Cusack appeared, I hoped I was in for a little "Grosse Pointe Blank" reunion, but no such luck. Ackroyd & Joan were fine, and Joan really sort of cut loose, chewing that scenery like we all knew she could. Ben Kingsley was wonderful, Marisa Tomei ditto. Actually, all the veteran actors were fine......too bad they had this script to work with.
    This was sort of like a "Wag The Dog" for MTV fans(those who don't know it used to be a music video channel).
    Watching/hearing Hilary Duff was excruciating, but all I know about her is what I see at the supermarket checkout line, or what [...] blares on its homepage. I can definiitely see some sort of Central Asian/Eurotrash teen pop star acting just like her character.....or Miley Cyrus.
    The corporate military operations aspect has been done far earlier & better in Catch-22 "What's good for M & M Enterprises is good for America". Some great casting, but I'm glad I only paid $1 to rent this, and while my favorite comedy is black, this wasn't a black comedy, it only aspired to be.
    The bottom line is the last line of the movie "Where are we going?" This flick had no idea, & I think the director(if there was one) was given this gig to pay off a bet...more info
  • This movie was great!
    I thought this was very canny, dead-on satire of corporate policies in the Middle East. Cusak did a great job. His nuanced performance expressed a lot of backhanded humor. All the caricatures were dead-on, and Hillary Duff's character was hysterical. The story had moral and philosophical depth. Surrealist Mark Leyner's influence can be seen throughout the film (he wrote the screenplay, along with Cusak and Jeremy Pisker), yet still it is not very much more surreal than what I know to be happening in Baghdad currently. Very symbolic, very relevant to current affairs, an absolute must-see. ...more info
  • Not good, but not horrible either.
    As I was I watching this film, I couldn't really say whether I liked it or not. It certainly packed jab after satiric jab, but they only sometimes hit their mark. The movie suffered from a non-cohesive script, and jumbled storyline, but certain performances stand out. Marisa Tomei is well-cast and effective as a left-wing journalist. John Cusack is always likeable. Joan Cusack gives a funny performance as John's bizarre secretary.

    The strongest performance is by Hilary Duff. Her over the top accent and antics were perfect for the cartoonish character she played. Her pop songs were hilarious, especially "I Want To Blow You (Up)." These delightful two minutes were easily the best in the film. Too bad the filmmakers couldn't sustain this inspiration. The last half of the movie is much less enjoyable, having used their best gags already, and devolving into typical plot-line cliches.

    There were some good moments, but too fleeting and far between. Some of the advertisement gags were clever. The poster for "Democracy Light" cigarettes featuring a rugged construction worker smoking and grinning, the rampaging tanks with "Golden Palace Casino" advertising. The costuming was impeccable. Many of the jokes meant to provoke laughter, felt a little hollow and contrived.

    Troops (in the film they are hired mercenaries, but the intent is obviously to equate them with Americans) wantonly and enthusiasticly slaughter civilians. Look, I'm no fan of the war in Iraq, but come on! Instead of smart satire, the director smears it in our face. The exchange towards the end between Cusack and the president of Turaqistan ended a little awkwardly. {Maybe I missed something there}.The storyline featuring Hilary Duff slackened when they Disney-fied her character, there having to be a sad girl underneath. Ben Kingsley was flagrantly wasted in a thin, ridiculous role.

    They attempted a "Non-Hollywood" ending, but to me it just felt unneccesary. For a movie that occasionally was, and is clearly supposed to be, cutting (and funny), it sometimes felt compromised and diluted, not venturing too deep. It's politics were very transparent seeing as how no liberals were satirized. Oh, well. Many people apparently loved this movie. Maybe I'm the one who's wrong....more info
  • What a strange & smart little movie
    I loved it. Take John Cusack, add 1 part Brazil and pour over Starship Troopers, and you've got a hilariously bizaare commentary on geopolitics and the industrial war machine.

    Its dark, and I mean, almost navy. Its only downfall is its heaviness, and sometimes it and the metaphors are jammed down your throat a little too often, but the ensemble cast is actually phenomenal, with Ben Kingsley and even Hillary Duff doing a great job (I can't believe I typed that).

    You will laugh, if you have a dark sense of humor and like smart comedy. This movie is very timely, with the rise of the military farming out their work to private security (who are portrayed to be the craziest of all the crazies in the movie). Its small wonder it tanked in the box office, but if you have a proclivity towards movies like Dr. Strangelove, you'll find this to be one of the better movies you watched this year....more info
  • Worst Cusack movie ever
    You get the point 5 minutes in. Zero funny, 100% boring. A very painful movie....more info
  • Spiritual Sequel to Grosse Point Blank Does Not Disappoint
    This sharp and witty political satire may be remembered as Hilary Duff's finest hour a decade from now, but most viewers will be occupied and intrigued by John Cusak's return to material that was so brilliantly spun in Grosse Point Blank. Though lacking the subtlety of the earlier film this movie has its moments and what priceless moments they are. Don't let anyone spoil this one for you and watch it with as open a mind as possible. Enjoy!...more info
  • Barely three stars
    I have to agree with the average of review stars. This movie wasn't that good. The story was supposed to be a sendup of CIA-type flicks, but it fell a bit flat, and didn't ever get the laughs it seemed to be going for. The black humor was more of a gray color... Joan Cusack, I could have done without, in her shrill, typecast role. I like Marisa Tomei, but she was not well directed as the "normal" one. You could be excused for confusing Ben Kingsley with Patrick Stewart in X-Men... This movie couldn't make up its mind to be one thing or the other, either a campy but semi-serious spy flick or a total crazy sendup, and it floundered for that reason. If you want a good movie of this type, try Wag the Dog, or Dr. Strangelove, or even Primary Colors (tho that does not include war, just politics). Or any of Pierce Brosnan's Bond flicks. Or even Sneakers. They're all better than this....more info
  • Not Funny and Not "Smart"
    Ok, just because this movie bashes the Bush administation doesn't make this a "smart" movie.
    This is a "bad" movie.
    it reminded me of a mix between the awful "Southland Tales" and the horrible "Home of the Brave" - except worse, because I had to shut this off not even half way through....more info
  • War, Inc
    John Cusack - Great Actor - bad material
    Hilary Duff - Potential there - total waste
    Marisa Tomei - Great Actress - bad material
    Joan Cusack - Great Actress - bad material
    Dan Aykroyd - Great Actor - bad material
    was hoping it was a spin on Gross Pointe Blank. Not in the same playing field at all.
    sad. Fantastic Talent wasted...more info
  • This Movie Has No Dividends
    War Inc. is a bad movie. John Cusack shouldn't have been allowed to have this much scene time.

    Peter Hammond of the Box Office Magazine compares this movie to Dr. Strangelove. I didn't know anything about Hammond, but now I do know he is crazy.

    The ONLY redeemable part of the movie is the idea of putting advertisements on battle tanks.

    ...more info
  • Comedy from today's headlines
    I almost skipped this one as a political annoyance until I saw the star power supporting it: Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei (a personal favorite), John Cusack, Joan Cusack, and more. That cast simply won't let a movie be bad. They couldn't if they tried.

    Despite an apparent attempt to be ordinary entertainment, this one rises above all the usual categories. Do you want a cynical mockumentary of Haliburton-style war profiteering? Got it. Do you want pointed jabs at operations funded by Congress's "black budget?" Check. Do you want satirical assaults on simplistic sloganeering from every possible direction? It's there. Add in a babe like a pre-meltdown Britney but with hotter hotpants and a bucket of slapstick, and you're headed in the right direction. For example, a major character's name is "Uckmee Fay." Speakers of pig-Latin, please take note.

    They set the tone from the very first scene. Chevy Chase delivers a "Mission Impossible" style of assignment to a high-class assassin, via video, while seated on American Standard's finest. Later, Joan Cusack shows up in the role that she has perfected - the prim, cheery, and murderous psychopath. There's a lot more, too. I laughed all through, even (maybe especially) when I knew that outrage would have been the "appropriate" response.

    This one really grows on me the more I think about it. It doesn't whap you upside the head with humor, politics, or even its sappy moments. Instead, it tickles you with not-quite-too-much of social commentary, current events, goofy jokes, visual gags, and enough more to hold it all together. I liked it more a few hours later than when I walked out the door, and lots of movies have the opposite effect on me.

    -- wiredweird, reviewing the theatrical release

    PS: See it some time soon. The topical humor in this one might age badly unless the The Powers That Be keep providing background to preserve its freshness....more info
  • War Inc., Prophetic Flick on Corporate Warfare
    Well, John Cusack is in an other kooky flick that's take place in the not-so-distant future in an imaginary country called Turaqistan, of which has recently been defeated by contracted soldiers in the name of corporate greed. Like a reality trade show, Turaqistan is going to become the star of an international show in which it is rebuilt with the help of Tammerlane sponsorship. The protagonist is sent to the country under the cover of a contractor-producer for the major rebuilding show. But really he's an assassin sent to take out an Omar Sharif, the oil minister who attempts to nationalize certain pipe-lines that have yet to be constructed. This assassin, Hauser, is a bitter man, a lonely man, a man who found his wife murdered and his child kidnapped. Only the continuation of corrupt international corporate warfare will pay his bills.

    Under his cover job, Hauser mostly chaperoned what was considered the Brittany Spears of Turaqistan. Yonika is a sexually obsessed singer who is future wife of the heir to the Turaqistan throne. Though Hauser is later exposed to her secret obsession with playing acoustic ballads. In English. This is somehow supposed to be more true and native to the woman. I didn't really buy it. Wouldn't she be speaking in her own tongue, using native instruments and styles? Maybe I'm just crazy.

    There's also a journalist who protested the war and naturally hates Hauser. For some random reason Hauser grows an infatuation with the woman. Her character only serves as a plot-device to get the three characters into an abandoned manor for an interview with the singer, sponsored by Houser. Here, they are attacked by the fianc¨¦'s entourage who are now shunned by the government for attempting to digitize Yonika's consummation on DVD. Really though, they were used as fodder by Hauser and Sharif so that the heir to the Turaqi throne remains blameless for such a scandal.

    The entourage was a little ticked.

    But most end up dead and the hands of Hauser.

    There are a few more action scenes that involve the journalist's kidnapping and eventual rescue. Hauser confronting his boss in an almost wacky chase scene along with the revelation of Hauser's daughter. Turns out, she's Yonika. What a twist! This was kind of ridiculous since there is almost no evidence in the beginning or middle scenes that give credit to Yonika's American origin. Other than the fact that she doesn't know who her father is. Whoopdi do. Seems a little extravagant for a kidnapper, who turns out to be Hauser's old boss, to raise a random girl in a Mid-Eastern nation to blossom into sexy pop star and marry heir to the Turaqi throne, just to make things weird for Hauser.

    But I digress.

    This flick is somewhat witty in an all too frightful satire of American corporate imperialism, but it just doesn't pull off the moral/satirical message that it attempts to convey. The acting and protagonist set-up is so inclined to an older flick that War, Inc. might as well have been called Gross Pointe Blank II: Revenge of Dan Ackroyd. The general plot development seemed so random at times that I wasn't sure if I was watching a movie about victims of a Middle Eastern war or victims of the screenwriter's strike. Then there were the pity scenes. That's right, the scenes given to Joan Cusack because she happens to be related to John Cusack. Again, Joan plays an all too often pissy secretary and over-embellishes everything she says. Cut her off!

    Likely Page Break
    The overall satire was kind of ironic as well. Obviously it illustrates the growing concern of corporate greed on an international scale and man's obsession with pop culture. But a lot of action scenes are initiated by an entourage of dim-witted Mid-Easterners that must be pulverized by the white anti-hero, Hauser. A little too great white hope symbolism, though I do appreciate the insanity of the American troops out in the battle-field listening to metal as they spray bullets into an already war-torn city. Overall the ratio between exposing the wrongs of American imperialism and fundamentalist terrorism is pretty even.

    The end of the movie was definitely something left to be desired. It's like they threw a bunch of annoyingly inconsistent characters into one big happy family after the whole daughter situation is discovered. I'm just glad that I saw a missile chase after their plane at the end. If only Joan Cusack's character was on it....more info
  • Name names, no games
    If I say what I think Amazon won't publish it?
    These times summed up without naming names.

    Obscene profits on death by American corporations
    with political ties to well known public officials.
    I actually don't think it is all that funny
    or I'd give it five stars.
    ...more info
  • Political satire at its best!
    This film is laugh-out-loud funny. John Cusack is hilarious as a morally conflicted hit man caught in a situation that he can neither walk away from or endure. Hillary Duff is perfect as the spoiled, self-absorbed pop star and Marisa Tomei brings home the part of the left-wing journalist trying to make sense of the ludicrous situation. And, of course, Joan Cusack is always a pleasure to watch especially when she's playing off her brother. The political satire is dead-on and would be even funnier if it didn't reflect the reality of current events. ...more info
  • Garbage
    This film is utter utter garbage. Just another reminder of the decline of the film industry ...more info
  • You'll Love It or Hate It: Grosse Point Goes to Iraq on LSD
    Most people will NOT enjoy this movie, but a select few will find it provocatively funny. War, Inc. is an almost surreal blend of Dr. Strangelove, Grosse Point Blank, Fargo, Apocalypse Now, and a cerebral National Lampoon movie (if such a contradiction in terms were possible... imagine Animal House Goes to Iraq). Don't bother if you're annoyed by convoluted subplots backfilled by indiscriminate flashback scenes, or looking for a good laugh in a light romantic comedy.

    Despite an all-star cast (John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff, Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley and Dan Akroyd), War, Inc. will fall flat for most people. Set in a fictional third-world Islamic country, this satire of the American military-industrial complex is a blatant backdrop for further jabs at the Cheney/Halliburton/Blackwater junta. John Cusack's ability to write some of the cleverest dialogue in modern cinema allows his character to be interesting and sometimes brilliant, (especially when interacting with Marisa Tomei and Hilary Duff). Good acting and interesting dialogue will not be enough for the average viewer to enjoy this film. Offensively hilarious scenes (a chorus line of local war amputees on prosthetic legs) will either leave the viewer rolling on the floor or slack-jawed in revulsion.

    There's something reminiscent in War, Inc. of the failed 1983 film, Deal of the Century, another satire of the military industrial complex with a great cast (Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver and Gregory Hines). Unlike the mediocre Deal of the Century, Cusacks' newest film is more like Fargo in the sense you'll either love or hate it; but unlike Fargo, I think the vast majority of viewers will fall on the wrong side of getting the punch line. Like a Big Mac, this film blends a lot of different ingredients together (perhaps too many), and like a Big Mac, you'll either be delighted or disgusted... which is why I gave it 3 stars, because you'll give it either 1 or 5.

    You'll like this movie if:
    You prefer watching Dr. Strangelove or Grosse Point Blank after a six pack or some mind-altering substance.

    You'll dislike this movie if:
    You want a straightforward laugh, are looking forward to Hilary Duff reprising her usual rolls, can't stand political satire, or are expecting a repeat of Grosse Point Blank.
    ...more info
  • Kinda Blah
    I loved "Grosse Point Blank" and "High Fidelity" with Cusack and "My Cousin Vinny" with Tomei. Didn't love this movie, though. Although the production quality was really good and the acting was decent, it just didn't work for me. It seemed like it was mixing too many genres and not doing any of them justice....more info
  • If you want to think and laugh, too...try watching this.
    This film was awakening, so I must give them a thumb up for trying so hard to be a part of the War in Iraq and the presidential elections, while really being a political satire moving into the mainstream of comedy in the media by challenging reality with metaphorical drama. If there were a sequel, I think that John (Brand Hauser) and Marisa should have a baby so that Hilary (Kara)can have a sibling since not everyone likes being an only child. Either way, I think John Cusack is learning more about what he can do in film and how people react to him. He also made a record by not paying for advertising or marketing and using almost only MySpace. You can read from him and his brother William Cusack online at Huffington Post about political views....more info
  • War, Inc.
    It has been compared to "Grosse Pointe Blank" and with some good reason. Although they are distinctly different movies they have similar themes of an assassin that isn't happy with his work. Once again a female gives him some distraction from his mundane work of illiminating threats to his government, no matter how ridiculous. I'm a fan of Cusack and his sister anyway but I was not disappointed in the least in the action and comedy in this movie. If you can't draw any parallels to current world events and political blunders you aren't getting it. I recommend it. If you enjoyed this catch "Con Air".

    CA Luster...more info
  • Big budget, great actors, potentially incendiary subject, surprisingly inept script.
    I certainly hope my video store doesn't double-charge me because it took me 6 days and several sittings to finish it. The comedy angle is certainly stale, the general endpoint of the "plot" becomes clear within the first 15 minutes and its cinematographic and soundtrack DNA is a derivative clone of better films like Full Metal Jacket (one scene's setup & music was clearly calling for "These Boots Are Made For Walking").

    The issues it so clumsily attempts to address deserve a better airing than this. Yup, I "got" many of the references to real events. But nope, it's still lame. In fact, because it is so cheesy, it ends up doing its feeble best to discredit criticism of war-profiteering, political manipulations and the general ineptness of post-invasion Iraq occupation.

    I wonder how people reading the script could possibly miss the thick layer of stupidity that so effectively negates its satire....more info
  • Nice concept, right actors but an absolute directorial and writing disaster
    I saw most of this movie in the theater, but the film's direction is absolutely unbearable. There are moments when the satire does shine through the sloppiness of the film-maker, but it's a train wreck of a film. If you can suffer through terrible directing and extremely sloppy story-writing, then you may be able to sit through this whole movie. The actors are just fine, and the ideas are fine, but it's a poorly executed mess. That's probably why it was shelved for several years before finally seeing a small theatrical release. And if this is the best job the editors could do with it... then I'd hate to see what the original first several cuts looked like.

    Going into this movie I really wanted to like it. I loved "Grosse Point Blank." (This is supposed to be an unofficial sequel of sorts.) I love the Cusacks' work. I like the concept. I tried very hard to like the film, but had to leave after watching most of it. Like I said, if you can ignore things like sloppy, loose-ended writing and film direction that's the visual equivalent to hearing fingernails on a chalk board, you stand a chance of enjoying it. I couldn't deal with this horrible mess no matter how hard I tried. I'm giving it two stars instead of one simply because I didn't watch the last twenty minutes or so, and while I doubt it got any better, I have to allow for some slack. Otherwise this would be a one star review.

    Most likely you are better off watching "Grosse Point Blank" again instead....more info
  • WAR, Inc.
    Based on the previews and interviews I have seen for Cusack's WAR, Inc., I expect this to be one of the best and most important movies of the entire millennium (so far!). Looking forward to seeing it !!!

    I think it'll be up there with Pirates of the Caribbean!! At least in my book....more info
  • Funny in a different way
    This is not so much a laugh out loud movie as it is a smirk and giggle movie. It is thoroughly entertaining if you accept it for what it is, a parody or satire. I always like John Cusak as a hit man for some reason, Hillary Duff making fun of popstars is somehow fitting and for the first time, I found myself wanting to smack something other than her face. She really is FINE in this movie and funny to boot. I am a contractor myself and making fun of the way we are privatizing war and companys like Halliburtan is always good fun! I bought it, you may want to rent it first....more info
  • Grosse Blank
    I actually loved "Grosse Pointe Blank," even turning my very liberal son onto it, which DVD he then bought. This movie is a pretty "grosse" attempt at a sequel. I have a feeling that the question they asked when they casted this flick was, "who would most like to disrespect America and our troops in Iraq?" Where I was rolling in the aisles for the original, I found myself struggling to achieve a smirk in this attempt at humor. If you are one of the foaming-at-the-mouth haters of the last administration, you probably rated this 4-stars. As for this clear-thinking patriot, I thought it sucked!...more info
  • War is a smash mouth parody ....
    ...Smash mouth in that it doesn't try to be aubtle or discreet in its brutal assault on American foreign policy or consumerism in the world today. If you can get past its blatant attempts to punish America for its many shortcomings, it is a slightly entertaining story. Guy has unusual job, meets girl of his future, meets other girl who makes him react funny, and has a life changing series of moments. You also witness a haunted past from our Protaganist, and an antagonist you didn't even know existed at the beginning of film. The humor is there but its very dry and on its head....more info
  • Unknown masterpiece?
    Why is this movie so little known? It's one of the best antiwar satires since "Wag the Dog", with direct reference to Iraq. Maybe that's why....more info
  • Couldn't finish it
    I mostly like John Cusack's movies but this one was the worst. Not funny, even though it had been pushed so hard with a senseless and childish black comedy humor. For me a total loser of the year.
    Oguz Senol...more info
  • ...wow ... !
    ... OK, we finally get to hear Hilary Duff talk trashy ... and she does it really well ...

    What is a bit awkward is a jarring contrast between the seriously dangerous character played mostly straight by John Cusack (way darker than Grosse Pointe Blank) and the utterly outrageous satire in everything else. It's interesting that his character comes across straight even when the conversation is satire ... i.e., with Dan Aykroy ... OK ... the VP ...

    Also striking is, that except for a gag on the character's last name at the beginning and the "strike a pose" at the end of the film, Marisa Tomei's character is also played mostly straight.

    It's very difficult to put a finger on analogies with this film. The first thing that came to mind was the film version of MASH. Then the tongue in cheek, gags, and word plays sweep it into its own category.

    Almost none of this is given away in the Trailers.

    This is a jaw dropping experience....more info