2017 seems to be the year Netflix is going all-in with their efforts to dominate the TV and film sphere. Earlier this year they made waves with how many films they bought at Sundance, and now they are financing their own films, as this new film War Machine shows. Featuring Brad Pitt as its star, as well as an ensemble other directors will be jealous of having, Netflix brought the thunder for its first prominent film that will hopefully make everyone take notice.
So, did Netflix deliver a home run with this film? Unfortunately not.
Here’s the description from IMDb:
A successful, charismatic four-star general, Glenn McMahon, leaps in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.
This film was written and directed by Animal Kingdom‘s David Michôd, and it stars a great ensemble featuring Brad Pitt as Glen McMahon, Topher Grace as Matt Little, Will Poulter as Ricky Ortega, and Lakeith Stanfeild as Billy Cole amongst many, many others.
The thing I enjoyed the most about this film was Brad Pitt‘s performance. It is the most quirky role he’s ever taken on, so it was great showing his performance of this comical caricature of Stanley McChrystal. Another thing I enjoyed was the cinematography. There are great shots in this film, and which somewhat justified its $60 million budget. One last thing I enjoyed was its ensemble and cameos. It was fun to see so many familiar and great actors pop in once in a while.
Now onto the negatives. The first thing that became apparent even before I finished this film was how long it was. It unnecessary dragged many times throughout its runtime, and that hurt it immensely. Another misfire for this film was that it was supposed to be a satire on modern war, and while it did show how dumb the Afghanistan War was, it wasn’t funny, and that’s a problem. Also, for a war film, it only contained one scene where war was happening. So that’s that.
In conclusion, this was a good film. It wasn’t a great film (as I hoped), but it wasn’t a piece of garbage either. It had a great performance by Brad Pitt, great cinematography, great ensemble cast, and a great final scene, but that wasn’t enough to overcome its boring and unnecessary scenes, bad pace, and lack of humor. Netflix was hoping to make a big splash with this film, and show the film industry it can hang with the big boys, but sadly it couldn’t show that ably enough.
Final Rating – 3/5