USA Today - 05/24/2008
"[I]ntriguing....Recalling DR. STRANGELOVE, WAG THE DOG and even IDIOCRACY, the film skewers American imperialism, corporate greed and corruption and offers a sometimes clever commentary on the Iraq War."
Los Angeles Times - 05/23/2008
"Cusack et al. gamely take on a trillion-dollar subject and let their dry, deadpan fury fly....[With] warm, engaging performances..."
Joshua Seftel's fierce political satire features an all-star cast headed by John Cusack. Set in a fictionalized Middle East, the film takes United States foreign affairs to comic extremes in a world where corporations rule and wars are completely outsourced. At the start of the film, Turaqistan is occupied by a private American company belonging to a former American vice president (Dan Aykroyd). Cusack comes in as Brand Houser, a hit man slowly growing a conscience and doubting his chosen profession. Hired to take down one of the country's major players, Houser goes undercover as the organizer of a major conference. His title also requires that he make sure the wedding of a local pop singer (Hillary Duff) goes smoothly. While working alongside Marsha Dillon (Joan Cusack), Houser tries to handle and ward off advances from the over-sexualized, pint-sized pop idol. The addition of an intelligent, beautiful, and radical journalist named Natalie (Marisa Tomei) to the mix only makes Houser's job tougher. The more time he spends with Natalie, the more he wishes for the chance to be honest and to escape this killing game.
Packed with violence and humor, WAR, INC. works thanks to its strong leads and the romance at the heart of the film. Quirky touches include Houser's memory-triggering obsession with hot sauce, and a Wizard of Oz-like villain (Ben Kingsley) who hides behind a screen as he gives commands under the guise of constantly morphing video images of popular American celebrities. An eclectic soundtrack adds surprising whimsy and, at times, unexpected nuance. War-themed pop numbers by Duff contrast with dark ballads played as scenes of battle fill the screen. Though the plotline is intentionally overloaded and preposterous at times, viewers will find the film's statements relevant to the reality that inspired it.
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