War On Everyone
Dir. John Michael McDonagh
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
Lt. Gerry Stanton: I received very serious allegations of an assault. Corruption charges against you. Now what have we learned?
Bob Bolaño: Bribery and corruption are bad.
Lt. Gerry Stanton: Yes! Progress has been made.
Meet Detectives Terry Monroe (Alexander 'Legend of Tarzan' Skarsgard) and Bob Bolaño (Michael 'The Martian' Pena) are two of the most corrupt cops ever to grace the cinema screen. They don't so much enforce the law as use it entirely as a means to enjoy life - be that beating up criminals, doing drugs, stealing money or generally not caring... But they still somehow manage to bring bad guys to book.
bad cop, bad cop
War on Everyone Director John 'The Guard' Michael McDonagh has created an offensive masterpiece of violent buddy cop action. The profanity will offend many, the dubious nature of our 'heroes' will turn off others but the corrosive wit and superb action scenes mix genuine laugh-out-loud funnies with powerful, hard-hitting social commentary.
The plot sees the shady cops uncovering plans for a $1 Million bank heist which they obviously feel they should get a cut of, cue leaning hard on informers such as the hilarious Reggie (Malcolm 'The Office' Barrett) who gets lines like 'who am I? Huggie Bear?' and in a movie-stealing surreal moment flees to Iceland which leads to an unforgettable manhunt.
time to right some wrongs
Pena and Skarsgard have a brilliant chemistry, the jokes are dark, so very dark in their humour and the Monroe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo steals the show by virtue of being pretty much indestructible. Big baddie of the piece is James Mangan (Theo 'Underworld Awakening' James) who ups the ante for hateableness by committing unforgivable crimes which need vengeance, aided by his awful henchman Birdwell (Caleb 'Byzantium' Landry Jones). When it comes to picking sides for the final showdown, Monroe and Bolaño are very much the 'good' guys.
War on Everyone might not be The Nice Guys but I loved its dark heart even more than it's bigger budget co-cop-comedy competitor and the stylish production really adds to what has proved to be a divisive film. These 'bad boys' look great in their cool suits and Monroe's love interest Jackie (Tessa Thompson) brings a strong female counterpoint to his over the top antics, even introducing a very modern form of possible salvation as a dysfunctional family unit when they take in runaway kid.
informers = fair game
Effectively sending up everything from True Detective to Starsky & Hutch, War on Everyone has more in common with films like In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang than Ride Along or such.
This is a very entertaining lethal weapon, only likely to be enjoyed by those with liberal and bullet proof senses of humour, in a word 'superb'.
always time for a feel good dance scene
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Bad boys whatcha gonna do? Sit back and enjoy!!)...
Awesomeness ööööö – Staggeringly over the top set pieces
Laughs öööö – Strong, balls out dark humour
Horror öööö – Very violent and quite nasty in parts
Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Buddy cops for life