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[intro-text size=”25px”]In the future, entertainment reviews will be a mandated requirement for all humans, filed much like present day taxes. For expediency and maximum immersion, stories will be streamlined directly into the brain, infusing reality with finely crafted cinematic simulations- “cims”. At a classified laboratory in Cleveland, they’ve already begun testing… on me. These are my reports, code named: Total Review.[/intro-text]

– CIM #1014 – “War Dogs” – 114 mins. – release: August 19th, 2016 –

I stroll through the the lab’s entrance metal detector equipped with gadgetry beyond my realm of comprehension, watching along with the burly guards a monitor featuring nothing but my weaponless skeleton. Personally I don’t get it. This is a cinematic experience; people should leave their guns and phones in the car, especially at a government facility. At least… I think the lab is government run. They’re well-funded, overly bureaucratic, and stocked with ripe future tech. So it amazes me when they put a modern American war biography cim like Todd Phillips’ irreverent War Dogs up for testing.

The cimulation commences and I’m rewound to the late noughties when the U.S. had troops scooped into every available country in the Middle East. I know this first hand, for I am an almighty man-made collective- the United States Government. Known to some as Big Brother, I’m equipped with a pretty gnarly infrastructure for mass surveillance and over four million employees spinning plates for me. I’ve got high rankers, secret agents, and desk jockeys, but my biggest department is the brave and bold (and expensive) U.S. Military. Sure, I’m a little bit of a governmental mess, but you get what you pay for.

Naturally I’d get stuck with a pair of contractors like David and Efraim. These two savvy business bros were once best friends but went their own way after high school. I’ve had an eye on them for a while. David went on to… basically sell shit no one wants, while Efraim found a more lucrative venture of dealing arms. When it comes to my budget, the lines are always blurry, and there’s always someone taking advantage of the system. Efraim is that guy, a bottom feeder, but when he teams up with David after years apart, they take the market by storm and start making bank off the American bankroll.

But I’ve seen tax payer money slip into worse hands than these guys. David is clever and charming, and bends over backward to support his wife. He’s a relatable capitalist chasing the American dream, so it’s easy to see things from his perspective. On the flip-side, Efraim is a loud and boisterous wild card. He runs the show and is damn good at it, because he’s a chameleon, shifting his persona when it suits the needs of the people. This often results in a hilarious show of character. Together, Dave and Efraim push each other toward greatness, on a journey fueled with bullets, bong rips, and big bucks.

When a contract goes out to supply my army with a fresh load of goodies including a metric-shit ton of AK-47 ammunition, the job practically falls into their laps. Even with Efraim’s knack for financial finagling this deal is no walk on the beach… more like a walk through the insurgent riddled deserts of Fallujah. Relationships are strained. Laws are broken. Morals are tested. I see this shit all the time within the confines of my own government body, but it is funny and thrilling to watch these buds butt heads on my dime, only they forget my one rule: don’t fuck with the U.S. Government. It fucks back.

The cim ended and I walked out of the lab perturbed. War Dogs was a gripping good time, but I left thinking that it’s not just two fun-loving entrepreneurs cashing checks from Uncle Sam and more about how far down the toilet capitalism can be flushed. Money for war is as low as it gets. Overall, director Todd Philips, known for Old School and The Hangover, has painted a darkly humorous portrait of the world of arms running at it’s worst, and if you aren’t gun shy I’d recommend giving it a shot.

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