War, Inc. (An Early Review)

“War, Inc.” stars John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hillary Duff, and Ben Kingsley. It’s directed by Joshua Seftel (Lost and Found, Old Warrior) and written by Mark Leyner and Jeremy Pikser.

A troubled hitman named Brand Hauser (John Cusack) is hired by a former U.S. Vice President (Dan Akroyd) to kill a Middle East oil minister. His latest mission gains the attention of a sexy reporter (Marisa Tomei) and sets up a crossroad relationship with a young and seductive Pop Star (Hillary Duff) that seems hard to shake off.

This is a daring subject to tackle (let alone parody in a forgivable way), but “War, Inc.” does so in a stylish and darkly funny manner hard not to enjoy. John Cusack plays the hot sauce swigging assassin with a charming feel (like always) and Hillary Duff nails a sexy accent and plays the scorpion-friendly, child-like go-go dancer with a scorching sex appeal to near perfection. This is a witty political satire with a Tarantino-esque vibe to it. Although it is too satirical for its own good to match the essence of a Tarantino film, this is about as close to matching his brilliance as a poetic film-maker as you can get. That is a compliment that no other film beholds and one this film should admire greatly considering it wasn’t well recieved at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“War, Inc.” has a western-like score to it. This might sound unsuitable for a political satire, but it works just fine. Sharply directed and smartly written, this movie rarely misfires. John Cusack stars, produced, and even co-wrote some of the slick and shadowy humor that is present, which just makes me admire his work even more. Being a fan of almost every John Cusack movie I have seen, this film delivers as his best dark comedy since “The Ice Harvest”.

The high caliber cast zips though this material with ease and style, proving to appear very comfortable in this particular genre. This is the perfect type of film for a home viewing, but I wouldn’t discourage you from seeing it when it is released in limited theaters May 23rd if my life depended on it. This will be a controversial film when released and will create a mixed impact on viewers and critics. For me it’s just another under-rated success from an actor that deserves more attention.

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