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  • Don't mistake "War Inc." for a sharply chiseled satire or a brainy comedy full of inside jokes for news buffs. It isn't.

    This is an old-fashioned screwball comedy, with ridiculously coincidental plot twists, stock characters (given some depth in fun performances by John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Marisa Tomei and Hillary Duff) and a straightforward approach to the political content.

    You see, the filmmakers' political points are things nearly all of the country already knows are true. Yeah, we understand that the corporations profiting off the war are corrupt, inept pigs, the political leaders in charge of it are even more inept buffoons, and American imperialism has never looked crasser and more out of touch than it does right now -- but none of that is the point.

    Here, all of that noise is the setting that they lampoon -- sometimes in genius ways -- as the backdrop for a silly romp, as John Cusack's character (the hit-man with a heart) tries to change his life with the help of the do-gooder journalist who doesn't trust him (Tomei) and the young Middle Eastern starlet who wants to call off her marriage (Duff). Cusack's sister, Joan, plays his assistant with an almost cartoonishly enthusiastic quality. Ben Kingsley seemed to me wasted in his smaller part as a ruthless CIA boss.

    That's all, and it works. It's simple fun, but if somehow you can't see reality and you think the war is going well and everyone involved with it is doing a good job and there's no corruption and people in the Middle East wish our Western culture would supplant theirs, then you might not find it as funny.

    For all the rest of us, it was a light comedy with a political edge.
  • I thought this movie was a lot better than most movie critics are giving it credit for. Though it has its confusing parts of the plot, it doesn't greatly interfere with your understanding of the movie. That being said, If you're not open to more liberal political ideas, then this probably isn't the movie for you. I thought all the actors in the movie were outstanding. Each character has their funny moments and the audience at the Tribeca Film Festival was laughing throughout the whole thing. I thought the satire was a tad over the top in one particular area, but that's intentionally done. John Cusack is right in that although it's set in the future, it really makes you see the present.
  • Joshua Seftel's first film - a satire of memorable proportions - is about just as the title suggests: The corporations effect on War.

    The film is about a mercenary (John Cusack) traveling to Turaqistan (not a real country, fyi) to help the American government 'get their message across' to Turaqistan's leaders. He meets a reporter (Marisa Tomei) and we all know what will ensue with a lonely man + a hot reporter. Somewhere in the mix, a pop star named Yonica Babyyeah gets thrown in. As Yonica is marrying one of Turaquistan's most important people (a son of the president), a subplot is created where the mercenary must watch over this star, well, somewhat. The film starts off with a lonely Cusack in a bar; no more than fifteen seconds later, the film hooks you. With it's amusing and intriguing insight on terrorism and politics, the film's running time blows by you. The film has a lot more action than I expected, with the occasional scene of war, well choreographed fights and just sporadic scenes of murder. Though the story isn't much deep, the simplicity of it all makes the film perfect for both the common man and movie critics alike.

    In the final act of the film, the simplicity of it all turns very hostile and jumbled. I thought it was executed very well, but other may disagree, and I could understand why. Twist after twist is what the ending is all about, and like most films, it is a true hit/miss situation. Regardless, the three writers on the film (Mark Leyner, Jeremy Pikser & John Cusack) did a fantastic job creating a realistic and entertaining satire on today's situation overseas.

    Joshua Seftel does an excellent job insuring the film's integrity; not reducing the material to the most redundant of films (which I was afraid would happen). Seftel crafted the film as perfectly as one could: he created a vibrant atmosphere, one that is both examines harsh reality and cartoonish falsities; - contrasting them perfectly - as well as making the film feel as if you were watching it all. Seftel really gets you involved in all of the action and it pays off completely. No missteps here. Hopefully, he takes on more directorial jobs, for he is one director to look out for.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you agree with the political premise of this movie or you like John Cusack, Marisa Tomei or Ben Kinsley you may enjoy this movie. But as the satire it was obviously meant to be it is a huge misfire.

    Despite a few funny moments, it breaks a basic rule of satire: believability. Watch Dr. Strangelove, M*A*S*H, or The Great Dictator and you'll notice that the main characters, while caricatures of varying degrees of preposterousness, the world in which they exist was made to be very real.

    In War Inc. this is reversed. The primary characters are played seriously and we do care about them, but, with only a few exceptions, the environment in which they exist is played for laughs.

    For example, the scene of the rehearsal of a Broadway musical dance number where the dancers are women with prosthetic legs who've been victims of the war but who've been "helped" by American medical technology. It's an idea of near-genius, but it's impact is almost entirely lost because the world in which it takes place isn't credible. There are the "Arab rappers" who are played as ridiculous idiots, but it comes off as a commentary on rappers and not American cultural influence. There are so many potentially great moments ruined because they aren't played seriously. The director just didn't understand comedy.

    There are other mistakes. Much of this movie takes place in the protected compound "Emerald City". The movie brings us into what is intended to depict an orgy of American capitalist/corporate superficiality, but the movie fails to first sufficiently establish that it exists within a non-Western (Arabic) country. So instead of succeeding as a critique on American imperialism, we simply feel like we're in a weird theme park with no context.

    Also, and this is potentially more serious for U.S. showings, there is the apparent portrayal of average soldiers. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but regular soldiers are shown as moronic, thugs and murderers. In one scene, which is one of those that's filmed realistically, soldiers machine gun innocent civilians. The soldiers have the corporate logos on their uniforms, perhaps meant to differentiate them as a "corporate" army. However, I think that is likely to be lost on many viewers and in a movie meant as criticism on the abuse of corporate power, denigrating the average American soldier, intentionally or not, seems a huge mistake.

    And, perhaps this is minor, but Joan Cusak looks quite old in her first appearance in the movie. This was obviously not intended since she looks younger for the rest of the movie.

    This is not a terrible movie but as a satire it's a mess.
  • Let me start by saying that "War, Inc" is not everyone's cup of tea. It is, however, very enjoyable (and gets you thinking - "Oh, crap"). The comedy involved the film isn't obvious at all - it's quite subtle (Tamerlane tanks, dry-cleaning service etc), and it changes with the twists & turns in the plot.

    I may be the only one, but I won't compare this with "Grosse Point Blank", because, it's different. John Cusack - I wouldn't say he was "amazing" or "brilliant" - but he was good. On the other hand, his sister (Joan Cusack) was incredible in her delivery of lines & comedic timing - even though she was hardly in the film (I'd say the same about Ben Kingsley).

    Marisa Tomei plays a convincing reporter, and manages to pull it off. Hilary Duff is very commendable for her role as central Asian pop star Yonica Babyyeah. Duff's development as an actress is very noticeable in the film, and she does a very good job (even though her accent is a tad unreal).

    Overall, the film is what I would call "entertaining". It doesn't have a particular storyline, and it's quite silly at times, but it does have a subtle message. I'd say it's worth a watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The plot of this film might not be extraordinary, but what makes the film really special, are its characters (and the actors who play them – of course!). I won't go into the details of the plot of the movie, but I would certainly like to say this – This film is not just for everyone! The film is really witty and you need to be equally clever to get all the satire. If you're not alert even for a second, you'll probably end up missing one of the subtle points. The movie is full of such seemingly trivial but witty stuff - like the announcements going on in the background at Turaqistan, the advertisements on the tankers (which I almost missed) and it are these that make the movie hilarious throughout.

    Coming to the actors, John Cusack has played his multi-faceted role very efficiently (what with him being the co-writer and the producer too) and he plays his character – Hauser, the killer with a heart – exquisitely. Cusack's done a similar kind of role before in Grosse Pointe Blank, but his comic disposition in the movie is simply superb.

    However the actress who steals all the show is Hilary Duff! I have always been a huge fan of Ms. Duff. But to be honest I was a bit disappointed when I heard about the kind of role she's playing in the movie. But after watching the movie the disappointment gave way to great respect for her as an actor. Let's face it! The kid's growing, but yes, so is her talent! All those critics, who shouted hoarse that Hilary cannot act, will be silent for a while. Hilary had to play a really complex character – tough on the outside, yet a sweet child on the inside – and she's done complete justice to it. She makes you laugh, and she makes you cry – to cut the long story short ('cause I could go on raving about her for ever) she's BRILLIANT! Marisa Tomei and Joan Cusack have done a good job too. Especially, Joan's hysterics are uproarious! However, I was rather disappointed with Ben Kingsley being wasted in such a small role and his performance seemed lackluster.

    In general War, Inc. keeps you on your toes throughout with its intelligent humor, and ends with just the right amount of twists in the plot. I would highly recommend this movie to all (and more so to Hilary Duff fans)!!! P.S. - I am really glad to hear the movie is going to break free of its limited release and release at other places soon!!!
  • In this satire of the commercialization and 'lightheartedness' of war, John Cusack plays Brand Hauser, an assassin sent to to 'Turaqistan' to take out Omar Sharif, who is doing some oil business that will spell trouble for the former Vice President of the US's own company. In addition to this, Hauser must juggle his fake position as a trade show producer, a wedding for pop princess Yonica (Hillary Duff), and a nosy Liberal journalist, Natalie (Marisa Tomei).

    Assessing the technical aspects:

    • The acting (by the main characters,at least) was good, as was to be expected. Some of John Cusack's dialogue was quite obviously not written for him as he often seemed uncomfortable saying it. . . maybe unrealistic is more accurate. Joan put forth a great, and often hilarious, performance. Marisa Tomei, while I've never been a big fan of hers, was more than suitable for the role and worked well. Hillary Duff, however, was pretty terrible. They needed an attractive Middle Eastern (or Russian, or whatever that accent was supposed to be) pop-star. Unfortunately, they went 0 for 3 with her.


    • Like I said above, the writing seemed a little stiff and mismatched at points, especially John Cusack's dialogue. Not much of it, mind, but some. The story also got a bit ludicrous at points, which is fine for a satire to a point, but it took it to a whole new level here. Luckily, the Cusacks and Tomei keep a relatively cool, calm demeanor throughout, and that makes a nice even mix of the craziness of the film and the levelheadedness of the actors.


    • Joshua Seftel, who previously had a drought of real credits to his name, did a fine job with a rather wide-spectrum film. He handled the small ($10 million) budget very well, stretching it to make it appear to be much more. Seftel also managed to nicely blend the humour of the story. . . with the painful and hard-to-watch parts of the real war (including slaughter of civilians, etc.).


    • As far as the general satire goes, its exaggerated look on the commercializing of war is very well done, especially the 'Golden Palace Poker' ads on the U.S. tanks. At points, it becomes a little too much, but, in the end, it still accurate portrays what it's going for an a young 'Mel Brooks'-type of style.


    Overall, the film is very well made for the meager budget and it's definitely worthy of a look. It won't go down as one of the great satires of cinema, but it's certainly not the worst.

    7/10.
  • I don't want to spend to long here rambling about the plot- you've seen the trailer, and if you haven't its online. I don't recommend seeing it though- it was poorly crafted and didn't pack any of the laughs or magic from the film. So those avoiding this film due to its lousy trailer should give this one a chance. It's really funny. I was blown away by the cleverness and originality in this film. The first 40 minutes had me on the floor in hysterics- my only problem was that it unnecessarily evolved into a bad Austin Powers film in the final 20. This however, is one of the few films where the campy ending didn't make me dislike the rest of the film (which is normally the case). Everyone gives a great performance (especially Joan Cusack) and there are some really great moments throughout. I personally plan on seeing it again when it comes out- only to catch all the details which I was laughing over during the first viewing!
  • this film needs to be seen. the truest picture of what is going on in the world that I've seen since Darwin's Nightmare. Go see it! and If you're lucky enough to have it open in your city, be sure to see it on the big screen instead of DVD. The writing is sharp and the direction is good enough for the ideas to come through, though hardly perfect. Joan Cusack is amazing, and the rest of the cast is good too. It's inspiring that John Cusack got this movie made, and, I believe, he had to use some of his own money to do it. It's a wild, absurd ride, obviously made without the resources it needed, but still succeeds. Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, SNL, even Bill Maher haven't shown the guts to say what this film says.
  • In War, Inc we find the logical extension of the current outsourcing of all war-related activities we are currently doing in Afghanistan and Iraq. If you are familiar with the antics of Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown & Root and Blackwater overseas you are already halfway home to fully appreciating the satire of Cusack's latest piece. Cusack plays a corporate hit-man named Brand Hauser who finds himself in Turiquistan organizing a trade show in the newly liberated country as his cover while waiting to get access to his latest target. While there he finds himself intrigued by the anti-establishment reporter played by Marisa Tomei and pursued by the over-sexualized pop star played by Hilary Duff. We are introduced to Hauser's past, which includes a tragedy that has haunted him ever since and the corporate assistant named Marsha Dillon who actually is running the entire operation for him (and played hilariously by Joan Cusack). While some moments are played suitably over the top, they aren't always the moments you expect and the little touches often catch you by surprise. All the principals turn in solid performances. Duff's accent comes and goes but otherwise she does a very nice job and goes a long way to dispel her Disney image. Tomei is funny but understated while the Cusack's own nearly every scene they are in. To be fair, they are given good material. The writers turn in a good script with enough twists and turns and visual gags to keep you giggling throughout all the way to the predictable conclusion. In fact, the predictability of the end is the only thing that keeps me from rating it higher as the story twists and turns it's way to the expected conclusion.

    If you like your comedy broad and physical, there is probably not enough here to keep you interested the entire movie. On the other hand, if you like sly comedy and broad satire, this is for you.
  • This film definitely gets a thumbs up from me. It's witty jokes and even it's occasional stereotypical and derogatory views on Eastern European people had me in stitches throughout most of the film. It's plot is clever and 100% original and will have you guessing throughout the entire film. The one person I was most impressed with in this film was Hilary Duff. It's plain and simple to see that she has taken a leap of faith stepped outside of the 'chick-flick' genre she's used to. Her accent is excellent and her acting performance was surprisingly crisp and well-executed. It is the best performance I have ever seen from Hilary, and I have seen most of her films. Her character, Yonica Babyyeah is described as 'The Britney Spears of Eastern Europe' and this is seen in some of her mannerisms and the song, 'I want to blow you... ... ... up'. You also feel sorry for her, as her performance really grasps you, Yonica is a very complex and confused character. Joan Cusack had me laughing throughout the whole film with her sometimes slapstick humour, but also her facial expressions and so on. John Cusack's witty dialogue will probably make you chuckle throughout. I strongly recommend this film.
  • I think 99% of all the people I recommended this film to, will be disappointed cause I really hyped this as the bomb.

    I thought this was a pure political satire, but it was a satire about much more, leaving that political part on the side. The thing what will turn most people away from this is that when you consider a certain element of this film, a characters ark, a scene or a plot, everything else in the film might seem totally irrelevant. Then again it was really relevant for the outcome.

    I got a kick out of the characters mostly. I used to hate John Cusack but the guy can be actually funny. So can his sister. Marisa Tomei is as sweet as ever and Hillary Duff is just superb.
  • On this 4th of July weekend it's heartening to see the spirit of the Declaration of Independence alive and well in the film "War, Inc." Just as our founding fathers gave the back of their collective hand to King George III, this film exposes in hilarious fashion the craven war-profiteering by the current crop of capitalistic creeps who are intent on indecently privatizing the government, to include privatizing war itself.

    The cast in this satire absolutely shines. John Cusack is wonderful as a droll, conflicted corporate assassin, and the beautiful Marisa Tomei is superb as his love interest. (My gosh, "George Costanza" was right. Marisa Tomei is so attractive!) But it is John's sister Joan Cusack who really steals the film. Her portrayal of a bossy, yet simultaneously sycophantic, personal assistant is priceless, and more than once I just couldn't stop laughing at the brilliance of her performance. She not only possesses fantastic comic timing, her face is as expressive as one could ever wish for in an actor. Dan Ackroyd, too, has a short, but very effective, cameo in the film as the head of the company which is running the war, the Tamerlane Corporation. Sitting on a "throne" with his pants down around his ankles, Ackroyd even looks like the arse clown who currently occupies one of our real thrones of power. You won't have to think too hard to recognize that person. Much of this movie was filmed in Bulgaria, which is why we are able to see so much real military equipment. (You just know that the US military would never have cooperated in making this satiric expose of war-profiteering.) I especially enjoyed the character of "Omar Sharif" as played by the Bulgarian actor Lyubomir Neikov. In one scene in which he is on the dance floor with Marisa Tomei he has a couple of lines that could summarize our entire foreign policy attitude toward the foreign leaders we install - and uninstall - in power.

    Naturally, this film won't appeal to everyone. If you believe that the on-going privatization of our foreign policy, the military, intelligence collection and analysis, prisons and the corrections system, public health, and a myriad of other government services is a good thing you may not find much to like in this film. If you believe, however, that destroying people and countries in order to add to some corporation's bottom line is an abomination I think you'll find much to appreciate in this film. Nothing could be more in keeping with the Spirit of Independence that heaping well-deserved ridicule on corrupt powers that be.
  • This movie was excellent for the following reasons: 1) It contained great backdrops and sets. 2) It showed the disparity of a war-torn environment alongside a technological one. 3) John Cusack's acting was terrific. He portrayed angst very well. 4) It showed the vulnerabilities of everyone in a war-torn situation. 5) It gave us a picture of what might happen in the future in many respects. I was also impressed with the acting for the most part. Hilary's acting was, I found, the most stilted. The morals and values of everyone in a war-torn situation are up for grabs. The liberal journalist and the conservative business man are capable of doing anything in any situation and are equally unpredictable. Great stuff. PSP
  • agent5998777429 November 2008
    With this cast and budget you will expect more.

    John Cusack has made a number movies that border on the strange, yet still work. Neither he, his sister, nor Sir Ben could do anything to save this travesty of trite poorly written garbage.

    The movie is nothing more than a series of sight gags and poor ones at that. The plot goes nowhere, the writing is contrived, senseless and the characters paper thin. If you think of a movie as being three dimensional where the story and characters bring a depth to the imagery, this stinker comes across as flat as steamboat mickey.

    Dan Akroyd's appearance in this brought back memories of another truly awful movie, 1991's Nothing but Trouble. Frankly this movie is the type of project that kills careers and gets agents fired.
  • Brand Hauser (John Cusack) is an assassin for the CIA. He is ordered to go to the country of Turaquistan, a nation that the United States has "liberated", and kill a businessman named Omar Shariff. This is because the American conglomerate, Tamerlane, that is putting the country "back together" will not stand for Shariff, an oil man from a neighboring state, laying down his own pipeline through war-torn Turquistan. But, once there, Brand runs into difficulties. One, he meets a determined journalist, Natalie (Marisa Tomei) who wants to tell the American public the "true" story of the region's conflict...and of Tamerlane. But, Brand is aghast to realize that Natalie's pretty face and sharp mind instantly and unconsciously compels him to lose focus on his mission. Also, his cover as a trade show host forces him to meet the country's pop-singing princess, Yonica (Hillary Duff), who will be getting married at the convention center. She is a young diva whose wedding arrangements also turn Brand's attention away from the coming assassination. With other inept underlings and complications, will Brand be able to carry out his mission, for the satisfaction of Tamerlane's BIG boss, the former vice-president (Dan Ackroyd)? Good for you, John Cusack, to make this film, even though it doesn't quite hold together. Shot in Serbia, it is a worthy look at what present-day Iraq must be like, a country turned upside-down. In a stroke a brilliance, the green zone here is called "The Emerald City" and aptly so, for this Oz-like neighborhood attempts to keep out the ravages of war going on elsewhere in the metropolis. The cast is very fine, with Cusack doing a nice job and Tomei, Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley, Ackroyd and others backing him up in style. Duff, especially, does a great turn as the heavily-accented, heavily made-up, potty-mouthed singer. The recreation of war-riddled Baghdad is so real that it hurts while the costumes and other production values are top-notch. As for the script, it isn't always cohesive but it certainly has some tremendous dialogue and scenes. For example, a young Turaqui boy offers to show Brand an enemy hideout, in exchange for money and candy. Brand produces the cash but, because he has no candy, the boy burns his vehicle anyway. Brilliant! Then, also, the direction is not a total success but doesn't lag very often. No, if you have conservative leanings, you probably won't like this film one bit. But, if you have an open mind and want to see a satirical view of the "war on terrorism", this is quite a good show. Therefore, do make an effort to view it, as you will be supporting those filmmakers who choose to make movies far away from those old studio "formulas".
  • I really wanted to like this, but in the end it's a poorly made film with too few laughs.

    The politics are spot on, it's gonna offend the hell out of republicans but that's what it's designed to do. That alone gives me reason to chuckle.

    The problem is, it looks like it was made in a REAL hurry (like about a week). And it contains a stupid subplot about some bimbo singer, which seems to be completely off topic.

    Turiqistan is obviously Iraq, or Afghanistan, or any other number of countries the US has f**ked with since the 50s. The humour is a little dark (amputees dancing with prosthetic legs made by Tamerlane corporation) but it IS on the mark, especially with the corporations cashing in on the reconstruction ("democracy lite"!)

    However like a lot of satire criticising the US, it seems terribly heavy handed and laboured. I guess it's running counter to so much bs propaganda so it has to bludgeon people over the head to make a point. Who knows. I prefer more of a nudge, wink approach - a bit of subtlety. But that's just me.

    Anyway I might watch it again, perhaps I missed something.

    I'm hoping "W" is more on the mark.
  • First things first: I'm not a conservative. And even though I would never refer to myself as a liberal or a Democrat, I was opposed to the war in Iraq from day one. I think it's safe to say John Cusack and I would probably see eye-to-eye on politics, in fact, I'm sure we'd become drinking buddies if we ever got to talking about how great Adam Curtis' BBC docs are. My point is this: don't discredit this review by thinking I'm not a part of the choir Cusack is preaching to in War, Inc. There's no question WI's politics are tailored to appeal to my demographic, but the problem is, the tailoring is substandard and the the film Cusack co- wrote, produced and stars in, fits worse than a cheap suit.

    As they say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Cusack, his co-writers, director Joshua Seftel and even the actors involved, no doubt had every intention of making an anti- war film every bit as biting and funny as Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, unfortunately for the viewer, they ended up with one as unfunny and unintelligent as Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon.

    The current state of US politics, foreign policy and the war "effort" is already absurd and, as a result, tragic, pathetic and, regrettably comical -- just watch The Daily Show and see for yourself. The bottom line is: you can't write material as funny as what the Bush administration provides us on a daily basis, so why try to compete?

    The main problem with WI is that it feels it was put together in a hurry. To get it done, Cusack basically cannibalized Grosse Pointe Blank (one of his best films), changed the setting and crammed in a shopping list of ideas lifted from the collected works of Naomi Klein. Most of these ideas are rammed down your throat in the first twenty minutes of the film and what makes them so obnoxious is none of the jokes or gags or deliberately obvious references to Halliburton, the Neo-Cons and the US occupation of Iraq, are imaginative, clever or funny. The writers are so blinded by their own dogma they felt that by simply referencing these issues the film would be funny and subversive. The trouble is...it isn't. By now these ideas are yesterday's news and unless you've been living under or rock or are so blinded by ignorance, denial and sheer stupidity (read: a right-wing Christian), these jokes insultingly simple.

    Perhaps WI would work if it was more nuanced, subversive, offensive and fattened up with detailed research/insights into the Occupation. As it is, the jokes and sight gags are all surface and are so bad, with so little finesse, subtlety or satirical wickedness, they did little more than make me groan. Homer Simpson once said "It's funny 'cause it's true" and The Daily Show proves this every night; War, Inc. however proves that just because it's true doesn't make it funny. The bottom line: hyperbole isn't required when it comes to lampooning US/Neo-Conservative politics...it's already a big enough joke.

    http://eattheblinds.blogspot.com/
  • John Cusack was just so funny in this,, throw in Dan Akroyd, and you have lot's of laughs,, then throw in the sexy Hillary duff, so America needs to come up with an imaginary war to get the ball rolling on an assassination attempt,, Cusack who plays a down and out hit-man,, didn't we see this before,, lol, so he has to pretend that he is a producer of a trade show,, and he is trying to produce a show that will have a young teen star performing,, Hillary Duff. the movie may not make a lot of sense but really isn't too far fetched as America has almost been trying to involve itself in every war for far to long, excellent movie very funny,, recommend to all.
  • Assassin Hauser's (John Cusak) mission is to whack a Mid-Eastern oil minister, whose name happens to be Omar Sharif (Neikov), in the country of Turaqistan which is run by American interests. Hauser poses as Trade Show producer to allow him to get to Omar.

    Sometimes a satire can be so overdone it becomes most annoying. Here it does too much: the government, politics, music, war, people not generally accepted by society, and did I mention "war." And, that is what we have here - a most annoying movie that borders on a very bad nightmare brought to life. I am still asking myself why I continued with the DVD. Also, there are so many Cusak family members in this that John Cusak appears embarrassed by the family just being there, or is that just me?

    It used to be that a John Cusak movie, while a little offbeat, was, in the end, rather good. Not here. Believe that John Cusak had a hand in the writing and producing of this mess. Make of that what you will.

    There is too much going on in the movie accompanied by constant gun-fire, bombings, and shouting that you really cannot focus or was that the point? Probably. It just takes too long to set up the hit, which is largely forgotten until the last 15-minutes. In the meantime we have meaningless banter among all in the cast. And, chemistry between John Cusak and Marisa Tormei? I don't think so, but you know: the boy – girl thing ……and they needed something to take up more time.

    Yes, for what they were supposed to be, (offbeat and annoying) the performances of Duff, and Kingsley were good. But, when I saw Dan Aykroyd's character, in the beginning of the show, sitting on a toilet taking a dump, I knew the rest of the show would go to the tank as well. I was not wrong. I am sure some will sing praises of this effort, but if a rose is still a rose by any other name so, too, is a mess……………

    I now remember why I continued with the DVD. I was hoping that the story would somehow level out and save itself. Never did.

    Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Yes.
  • It was hilarious from start to finish. Very poignant and very dark. I especially loved those deliciously violent and overtly sexual lyrics to all of Duff's songs. I'm actually hoping I can find that song, 'I Want to Blow You Up.' The frightening thing, in history, is that something similar did take place. The East India Company, a properly registered English company in the 1600's to 1857, did actually raise armies, fight wars and collect taxes in the sub-continent. They were as ruthless, if not more so, than Tamerlane. Ever since John Cusack first started acting in teenage movies, I've always thought him to have an impeccable sense of humour and timing. And I'm so glad to see that he is using these talents in dark comedies rather than the run of the mill, mainstream rom-coms.
  • You movie is basically a rant at America and the way they police/Destroy all minor nations real or in this case "Turaqistan" make believe. you then have your story within this with Mr Cusack, a down on his luck assassin sent to do a job in Turaqistan and all that follows to distract him from this.

    The movie has some hilarious moments, basically every scene with Hilary Duff is hilarious. She plays Yonica Babyyeah an oversexed brat that performs a fantastic solo of "i'm gonna blow you.....up". Priceless and worth the admission price alone. You then have the tanks rolling around with advertising slogans like a Nascar.

    the movie still could have been a lot better, at points it just seemed to muddle its way through with no real direction. In the first 45 minutes you don't always understand the scenario of the private security forces, the American soldiers, the company etc etc, it does get a little confusing.

    However the performances of John Cusack and Hilary Duff are top drawer and with the humour this is certainly worth watching.
  • renjosh221 October 2008
    Just utter trash. I'm a huge fan of the Cusacks, this being the sole reason I watched this movie, but the only reason I can see for their presence was the reprise, in complete and depth less quality, their exact roles from Grosse Point Blanc. Apart from that, the films' role as a political satire fails miserably as being too obvious for even the most moronic out there to serve any purpose. And to bill it as a satirical satire would be just plain insulting even to chimps. Imitation is, apparently the highest form of flattery, but seeing as though this is nothing near Grosse Point Blanc and in the same league as meet the (watch if your a moron) Spartans in terms of political satire, lets leave well enough alone and let this one fade into the obscurity it absolutely deserves.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    War, Inc. - Corporations take over war in the future and use a lone assassin Brand Hauser (John Cusack) to do their wet-work against rival CEOs. A dark comedy satirizing the military and corporations alike. It was often difficult to figure out what exactly was going on. I kept waiting for things to make sense. There's no reason or method to the madness.

    It's considered by Cusack to be the "spiritual successor" to Grosse Point Blank. I.e., War is more or less a knock-off. We again see Cusack as an assassin protecting *spoiler* the person he's supposed to kill as he grips with his conscience. To be fair, John Cusack looks kind of credible taking out half a dozen guys with relative ease. The brief fights look good. The rest of the film does not. It's all quirky often bordering on bizarre. War Inc's not funny enough to be a parody, and too buoyant for anyone to even think about whatever the film's message might be, which I suppose might be the heartless ways that corporations, like war factions compete and scheme without a drop of consideration given to how they affect average citizens. Interesting, but the satire just doesn't work because it's not funny and at its heart the film has no heart. We're supposed to give a damn about how war affects Cusack's shell of a character rather than the millions of lives torn apart by war.

    John Cusack gives a decent performance. His character chugs shots of hot sauce and drives the tiniest private plane but quirks are meant to replace character traits. Marisa Tomei is slumming as the romantic sidekick journalist. There really isn't a lot of chemistry between them. Hilary Duff tries a Russian accent and doesn't make a fool of herself. Joan Cusack just screams and whines and wigs out. Blech. Ben Kingsley might have to return the Oscar if he doesn't start doling out a decent performance now and again. Pathetic.

    It's not a terrible movie, but in the end you gotta ask "War, what is it good for?" Absolutely nothing. C-
  • Real satire is very hard to do. War, Inc has its heart in the right place, but this day and age calls for going straight for the jugular. The corporate takeover of our nation and the world is ripe for a good black comedy, but this film needed a Tom Stoppard behind it.

    If you liked WAR, Inc, or think it could have been better, see Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

    Everything in that film works towards a common goal, and it's devastating. Though about 20 years old, its dark-comic tale of terrorism in a corporate age is even more relevant today.

    War, Inc doesn't dramatize its main idea well, inasmuch as it fails to show what is uniquely corporate (or privatized) about the atrocities it shows. If the very notion of our government is disappearing due to the privatization of our public resources and public service, then War, Inc should have satirized that public vs. private debate.
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