Sunday, 2 October 2016

War on Everyone (2016)

War on Everyone.png
Cop Out (of Sight)

Director: John Michael McDonagh
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña, Theo James, Tessa Thompson, Paul Reiser, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephanie Sigman, David Wilmot

Up till now, the filmography of John Michael McDonagh has remained set in Ireland. Through a relocation to New Mexico, McDonagh has delivered his entry into the buddy cop genre, complete with a few of the well known tropes.

Corrupt cops Terry (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob (Michael Peña) set out to frame and blackmail any criminals unfortunate enough to cross their path. When their paths cross with somebody more dangerous than they are, things take a sinister turn.

Image result for war on everyone youtubeIn portraying alcoholic Terry and family man Bob, Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña deliver an infectious likability which goes a long way for their characters (The former making up for the disastrous result which was The Legend of Tarzan). In fact, the only reason we somewhat care about these leads are due to the performances, as opposed to the writing. The same goes for the on-screen relationship between Skarsgård and Tessa Thompson, a rushed relationship brought alive by lively chemistry and the musical stylings of Glen Campbell. Theo James leads an assortment of the films antagonists, as they remain in the mind due to their peculiarities, rather than being any sort of interesting villain.

For a comedy, it's a shame the hit ratio for jokes doesn't flow with more consistency. While some scenes deliver laughs upon laughs, others pass by without a single joke hitting their mark. But it must be said that those which land, do so in a terrific manner. What could have been a typical interrogation scene late on in the picture turns rather lively, thanks to the all out performances, and an especially hair raising development.

War on Everyone may be the weakest work by John Michael McDonagh, yet in spite of its flaws, remains an enjoyable viewing experience. Plus, it answers the question as to whether hitting a mime will produce a sound.

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