Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nice office. It's bullet-proof.

There are actors that are just watchable. It doesn't matter what movie is, there's just something that compels you to watch. John Cusack is one of those actors for me. I'll watch anything the guy does.

Add to that my love of Grosse Pointe Blank, and it's only natural that I would be anxious to see War, Inc.

War, Inc feels like a spiritual sequel to GPB. Cusack, once again, plays the role he was born to play, an assassin who's ready to settle down, aka Brand Hauser. Along for the ride are a Cheney-esque Dan Ackroyd, Joan Cusack (as his assistant), Marissa Tomei as the plucky reporter and Hilary fucking Duff as the slutty yet virginal pop star.

The US is at war in the middle east. Most of the war has been contracted out to Tamerlane, a manufacturer of arms and military equipment. Hauser has been contracted to kill the leader of a neighboring country. His cover is that of an event coordinator for the big Tamerlane Victory Trade Show. He has to pull off the mission and the show.

It's here that he meets and begins to fall for the reporter, Natalie. She wants to get out of the city and see what is really happening in the war. Oh, and the show itself will culminate with the marriage of Eastern European pop sensation Yonica Babbyyeah to the son of a local warlord.

Also, it's entirely a work of fiction.

Well, it's a satire. Which is a type of fiction. Or, it's kind of like an exaggeration of the facts in a humorous context to make a political point. Fine, ok, you know what satire it. Well, A Modest Proposal this isn't. Which isn't to say that it doesn't make a valid point, it's more to say that in 100 years, War, Inc won't be something that they teach about in high school.

For being a rather unconventional story, it's awfully damned predictable. That's not always a bad thing, and I don't think that the movie really suffers for it. It's just that...well, it stands out. The story develops exactly the way you think it will. On the plus side, Cusack and Tomei do display some chemistry, and Hilary Duff is surprisingly good. The movie is funny, and ultimately, isn't the the measure of success for a comedy? 7 malfunctioning Tomahawk missiles out of 10.