War on Everyone – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
From the writer and director of The Guard and Calvary, comes War On Everyone, a story about two cops (Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña) who are lazy, drunk, disorderly, and corrupt. They like to take any shortcuts they can, such as using ex-cons to do their work for them, and of course they’re out to make some money on the side all while living under the protection of their badges. When they learn of a plot to steal a million dollars from a local racetrack, they figure they can swoop in and pickup the spoils of the crime for themselves while making the arrest, but criminals are criminals and someone beats them to the punch taking the money before them. Really short on cash, the pair are on the trail of the money, but so is the original criminal who wants the money he stole back, and he may be more dangerous than they anticipated.
Watching the trailer, there were some very funny bits that made me really want to see War On Everyone, also I really enjoyed John Michael McDonagh’s previous films, unfortunately the best bits were in the trailer and the film did not live up to McDonagh’s The Guard and Calvary. It was funny, quite darkly funny, and I did enjoy the humour, but it just didn’t seem to “turn the corner” and deliver what I expected. There were minor redemption moments for the leads, but not enough to make this a better film, and not enough to really make me care. The plot was clever at times, but then quickly returned to insult humour rather than continuing to build upon itself. The action was pretty good, but a little uneven at times drawing on maybe too many tropes of 1970s cop movies and TV shows. The acting was good, but the characters were quite undeveloped. We never learn why Skarsgård and Peña‘s Terry Monroe and Bob Bolaño were corrupt or what led them down the paths they’re on.
At the end of it all, there didn’t really seem to be a point which was the biggest disappointment. I don’t know if the lack of a point itself may have been the point, but I think that hurt the overall film. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but if it interests you, I wouldn’t discourage it either. There was a fair bit of entertainment value, but it just needed a little bit more to turn it into a really good film.
Bottom Line: At least the dishonest cops are brutally honest in the film. They say what they mean and follow through on it.