War on Everyone
What if Napoleon Dynamite made a Buddy Cop Movie? I’ve never really asked myself this question before, I don’t really have stoned conversations with myself (or anyone, thanks overbearing anxiety) so this kinda question doesn’t come up that often, but if you are the kinda person who wondered this then you’re gonna find out when you watch War on Everyone. This is the cop movie that cares the least about being a cop, they’re cops ’cause it’s cool. This film is set now, I guess, but it’s not really, it’s set now if now was the 70s. The music, the clothes, the sleazy exploitation, the cars, the drugs, the everything, is the 70s, but it’s now. Everything’s cool. They have every type of cool shot in this film. Every type of cool joke. Every type of everything. And that’s the problem. This film has everything, and nothing, like if Napoleon Dynamite made a Buddy Cop Movie. Every shot is shooting for the stars, there are so many shots in this film, or set pieces or whatever, that placed somewhere else would be iconic, would define the film and be meaningful and memorable and would bring you back, but there’s way too many. This film is trying to be iconic, and misses for trying, when a film has all these moments jammed together it’s less than the sum of it’s parts, and that’s a real shame.
This is sounding like a bad review up until now I know but, look how I started it, ‘What if Napoleon Dynamite made a Buddy Cop
Movie?‘, well this is as close as we’re going to get to it happening and I’m really glad this film was made. It’s a funny film, of course it is, sure I was in a near full screen and I was one of the people that laughed the most, but I’d put that down to the speed of the jokes, with everything being a bit haphazard it might’ve been hard to keep up, but I’m so glad I saw this. Some of the actors gave genuinely great performances. Alexander Skarsgård was probably the best I’ve seen him in a film in all honesty, he was funny but didn’t force it, and in a film that was a bit all over the place, his character was consistent and bordering on believable (reading this back this is a stupid statement, nothing in this film is at all believable). His partner in crime, or I guess foiling crime, but not really, was Michael Peña who had most of the funnier lines in the film. Caleb Landry was really well cast, he was probably the most interesting character in the film, at times barely audible, for most of the film he was, well, like a pre-fall into the acid Joker. Like the Joker’s little brother who owns a seedy as fuck strip joint. I liked him.
The film starts off a bit gung ho, and is seemingly all over the place, but gradually the strands come together and towards the deep end you realise you’ve actually fallen a bit for the characters, you start to care. Although I have to say, there is a reveal from one of the characters that brings the film to a head that is such a genuinely upsetting thing to happen to a person, that I really don’t think this film earns. This *thing* (I hate to be so vague as I know it might just be confusing, but I’m also aware of spoiler danger) is so obviously harrowing and damaging to happen to someone. and it’s use in this film feels cheap and to an extent exploitative, even if the actors handle their reactions well.
I know this review has been up and down, but so was the film. On reflection I think you should watch it, I definitely enjoyed it, although not as much as they wanted me too, and almost in spite of itself.