"War Dogs", a film starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, tells the story of David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, two young Jews from Miami who become some of the most succesful arms dealers in America.
The two former yeshiva students, who met at the Orthodox Beth Israel Congregation in Miami, became heavily involved in the arms trade—an unlikely story first chronicled by 2011 Rolling Stone article. Now, the story has been adapted for the big screen with Bradley Cooper as producer and directed by Todd Phillips ("The Hangover").
In the vein of "Wolf of Wall Street," "War Dogs" meshes humor with the sobriety inherent in a real story with global implications. Jonah Hill, a star in both movies, lends a deft hand to both facets of the film.
In an interview with NPR, Hill discussed his attraction to complex, divisive characters. “I'm very, very attracted to morally ambiguous characters, not just pure bad guys or pure good guys,” he said. “But I think morality is so individual and personal, and people draw their own lines of what that means for them. And I like playing characters that, you know, a couple could go see the movie and one person could love him and one person could hate him.”
At the center of the film’s plotline is a $300 million contract, which Packouz and Diveroli manage to earn from the Pentagon. The contract permitted the two young, pot-smoking friends to “arm America's allies in Afghanistan,” according to the Rolling Stone report.
However unconventional its narrative, the film received mixed reviews, with The Atlantic calling it a “self-satisfied testosterone fest” and the New York Times pleading viewers to just “enjoy the insane ride” as this is a movie “you don’t want to think too hard about.”