WAR INC: DVD
In the near future, Turaqistan is occupied by Tamerlane, an American private corporation run by a former US Vice-President (Dan Aykroyd). In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn nation offers, the corporation hires troubled hit man Brand Hauser (John Cusack), to kill Middle East oil boss Omar Sharif (Lyubomir Nebikov). Now, struggling with his own growing demons, the assassin must pose as the corporation's Trade Show Producer in order to pull off this latest hit, while maintaining his cover by organizing the high-profile wedding of Yonica Babyyeah (Hilary Duff) an outrageous Middle Eastern pop star (Hilary Duff), and keeping a sexy left wing reporter (Marisa Tomei) in check.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Swinging between sophisticated political satire, ridiculous farce, black humour, spoof, intellectual game playing and comic invention, War Inc is enticing and intriguing, if occasionally garbled. Its many targets include US militarism (of course), Western commercial immorality and Middle Eastern something, in an alphabet soup of ridicule. But it is so stuffed with great acting talent we hardly notice the missteps.
There's John and sister Joan Cusack as Brand Hauser and Marsha Dillon [geddit?] the assassin and his sharp minded, foul mouthed PA (actually, everybody swears), careering around imaginary Turaqistan on yet another mission to assassinate Omar Sharif his namesake, not the actor (played by Lyubomir Nebikov), who is threatening to muscle in on commercial territory. Dan Aykroyd makes an early and hilariously deadpan appearance via CCTV in his toilet, and Ben Kingsley has a small [but key] role as a psycho CIA boss. Hilary Duff is almost unrecognisable as Yonica Babyyeah the Mid Eastern pop star about to marry a shonky bloke who wants to sell their wedding night as a porn movie ....
Marisa Tomei has plenty of screen time as the journalist who falls for Brand, as they chase about on the battlefield, warding off rockets, bombs, kidnapping and general mayhem while Yonica's wedding lies in tatters.
There are plenty of details to keep us chortling, like tanks that carry brand advertising placards, sloppy terrorists, a theme park style virtual reality ride for war reporters and Brand's GPS capable portable computerised counsellor/shrink/know-all ($47.95 per month). Often funny, sometimes silly, always trying to be serious at heart, it's not as brilliant as intended but quite entertaining; a palate cleanser.
February 12, 2009
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WAR INC: DVD (MA)
CAST: John Cusack, Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd, Sergej Trifunovic, Ned Bellamy, John McLaughlin, Ben Kingsley, Lyubomir Nebikov, George Zlatarev
PRODUCER: John Cusack, Danny Lerner, Grace Loh, Les Weldon
DIRECTOR: Joshua Seftel
SCRIPT: John Cusack, Jeremy Pikser, Mark Leyner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Zoran Popovic
EDITOR: Michael Berenbaum
MUSIC: David Robbins
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Miljen Kreka Kljakovic
RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive
DVD RELEASE: February 13, 2009
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.