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Two corrupt cops in New Mexico set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. Or is he?
War on Everyone movie full length review - Very hit and miss black comedy
Films come out of nowhere sometimes and that's exactly what War on Everyone did to me. Having only seen The Guard when it comes to John Michael McDonagh's filmography, I was just hoping for a film as good as that.
I liked what I'd heard of the plot and the film had two leading men I hope would form a memorable duo, along the lines of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys earlier this year.
Detectives Terry Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bob Bolano (Michael Pena) are two corrupt as they come cops who definitely don't do most of their job by the book. Their methods of law enforcement catch up with them though when they interfere with the business dealings of a dangerous criminal.
Disappointingly, War on Everyone is a very hit and miss film, leaning more towards the latter as well. I really liked the sound of the story and the film starts off very well, a scene involving a car chase and a mime leaving me excited for the tone this film was going for. It maintains its good start for a little while until the story starts to unravel some more.
McDonagh lets the film slow down far too often and with the story introducing subplot after subplot, I just didn't really care about how it finished. McDonagh is a talented writer mind, penning a script that is not just offensive for the sake of it, instead using its insults cleverly at times to produce some genuine laugh out loud moments. Unfortunately, it does feel that they're trying too hard to be offensive at times and some of the jokes don't really land.
Coming to the performances, War on Everyone doesn't really feature such a memorable duo in the lead roles. I am a big fan of Michael Pena but, while he gives the best performance in the film, he can't do enough to save it. Alexander Skarsgard doesn't really do much wrong, except for that weird walk he has going on, and he shows some good comedic chops at times but he just feels a bit awkward next to Pena, who is much more suited to the role.
Whoever keeps trying to make Theo James happen needs to stop because he's just not that good an actor and he gives a very underwhelming performance as a villain that should have been a little more spectacular.
So, while it does have some funny moments, War on Everyone is undoubtedly a mess of a film that will leave you wanting to watch the far superior The Nice Guys again. One final point; Mr McDonagh I think you're a talented guy but that last scene and closing line? You are far from being Quentin Tarantino.