WAR, INC. D: Joshua Seftel. Rating: NNNNN
Satire is the hardest kind of comedy to do well, and War, Inc., which takes aim at the privatization of warfare – there’s money to be made on the battlefield, doncha know? – carpet-bombs its intended target until you either raise the white flag or run screaming from the theatre.
John Cusack plays an assassin having a crisis of conscience amid a make-believe Middle East war. Just as Cusack is bringing a bad guy named (I kid you not) Omar Sharif into his rifle sights, a tank full of soldiers shows up to deliver Cusack’s dry cleaning.
At this point you just surrender to the ride, recognizing that most of what’s happening – Hilary Duff as a slutty pan-Asian pop star, for instance – makes no sense.
In conventional terms, it’s not a good movie, and the jokes have all the accuracy of Scud missiles. But once in a while something smart slips through the defensive perimeter that keeps you in your seat.