Director: John Michael McDonagh.
This week's Odeon's Screen Unseen was my highly anticipated War On Everyone, highly anticipated for a number of reasons. Firstly, I really enjoyed John Michael McDonagh's Calvary with Brendan Gleeson, both written and directed by McDonagh, just like this film. Secondly, Michael Peña being one of my favourite actors since the film Crash and have liked him in everything since. Thirdly, this year's Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgård, having enjoyed his John Clayton/Tarzan I was eager to see what else he can offer.
Peña and Skargård play Bob and Terry, two corrupt cops who wreck havoc across New Mexico taking and doing whatever they want under the protection of their badge and guns, roughing up criminals in their unorthodox policing methods, who are unfortunately enough to get in their way. Skargård's Terry being the hulking, unhinged, drunkard that swaggers about punching most people in the face; a lot, and Peña's Bob is the intellect of the two, smart-talking and quick-thinking being his forte, throwing out quirky philosophical comments at any given moment. The chemistry between the two is highly entertaining, provoking you to want to know what they're going to do next.
The two of them rampage about town in Terry's indestructible 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and no one is safe, apart from the meek, so justice is on the agenda, just not the kind of justice the precinct would warrant, especially their Lieutenant, played by Paul Reiser. Their shake downs of crims eventually leads them to smug, rich Brit, crime-Lord James Mangan, who is just wrong, very wrong indeed but played well by Divergent's Theo James, donning his home accent and wonderful tweed attire.
The film goes all over the place, (even to Iceland) and although not hard to follow, it feels like a mess, thinking I had missed something along the way. A lot happens in the 98min runtime but I can't say it's fast pace, it felt unbalanced quite a few times during the movie but the events that do unfold are dark and brutal if not amusing.
There's quite an assortment of characters besides the key players, notably the absconding informant, Reggie, the squirmy, feminine Birdwell, Paddy Power, Pádraic and the stunning Jackie Hollis, played by Creed's Tessa Thompson. With all the colourful characters it made the story feel like a disjointed, poor version of a Tarantino movie but and lacked a great soundtrack, apart from the Glen Campbell that seems to be playing most of the time during the film.
It's a rough, tough buddy-cop movie like no other, could well have been written by Elmore Leonard whilst on LSD. It's very much a McDonagh's movie, being quite refreshing in effortless style, only Americanised and yet, there's great potential to improve on this film.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 6
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for being quite outrageous and offensive in parts.