I have been anticipating "War Machine", hoping for a political comedy akin to "War Dogs" or "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot". In hindsight, I may have been overly optimistic about those predictions.
Where this film fails the most is that it won't fully accept the campiness embraced by the most effective political satires. It tries to hold too much of a straight face, especially during the last thirty to forty-five minutes. There is some humor there, but it is a little dry, and it feels more like comedic relief to a dramatic plot. Rather than providing general comments on corruption in the military system, the film provides focused, but limited commentary on a single, central figure, and I'm not sure if it worked. The only thing that really pushes the tone of this film from a drama with comedic relief to a slightly more straightforward comedic satire is the soundtrack including contrapuntal pop music, but the film would have been better if it would have went one way or the other.
The execution of the film isn't bad, though. The cinematography and production design is really good. The acting is actually phenomenal. Brad Pitt delivers a great leading performance, transforming himself into the character in multiple ways. Will Poulter and Lakeith Stanfield are probably the best supporting actors, delivering more than their archetypical characters call for.
Overall, "War Machine" was watchable, but it wasn't as good as I would have expected. It would have been a lot better if it could have found its identity as a film.
Big Tuna's Rating: C
How Did I Watch It?: Netflix.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Maybe, but I doubt it.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.