War Dogs, a film starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, tells the story of David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who met at the Orthodox Beth Israel Congregation in Miami. The two former yeshiva students became wrapped up in the practice of dealing arms, an unlikely story chronicled by Rolling Stone 2011 in an article quick to reach virality. The film, produced by Bradley Cooper and directed by Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover series, premieres this month.
In the vein of Wolf of Wall Street, War Dogs meshes humor with the sobriety entrenched in a real story with global implications. Jonah Hill, a star in both movies, lends an 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.”