I went to the trouble to get a copy of John Cusack's film "War, Inc." and I would have had more fun watching Congress declare national swamp moss appreciation week on C-Span.
I'm thrilled that the film's release has put Cusack on TV talking against illegal wars and mercenary armies. He speaks very well off script. I'm thrilled that hunger for anti-war films gave "War, Inc" an early burst of interest and public pressure for a wider release. I'm entirely convinced that we will not end the current wars without permeating every medium in our culture with the demand for peace. But I'm not at all surprised that interest in "War, Inc." is fizzling out faster than Iraqis' gratitude for their "liberation."
This film should never have been marketed to peace activists. It should be marketed to fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is not a movie about politics or peace or the reality of war. It is primarily about how cool and fun and laughable it is to kill lots of cartoonish villains using a variety of improvised weapons, never receiving a scratch in return, getting the girl, and exploring the skin-deep depth of humanity in an assassin with almost superhuman powers.
The progressive reporter turns out to be a hollower shell of a character than the killer mercenary, and she ends up grabbing a gun and joining him in battle with evildoers. In fact, they very quickly and without any sort of credibility become a family with a grown daughter, and within 2 minutes of discovering that she is Cusack's daughter, the young woman too has picked up a gun and joined her long-lost dad and brand new step-Mom in blasting the world with good old American bullets.
The killing in this movie is very cool and bloodless and often aimed for laughs. The victims are unknown or comically foreign with bad taste in American pop cultural imitation. The heroes are rushed through such over-the-top goofy nonsense that's there's no chance of anyone actually caring about them. Cusack's sister has a large role as his ally in his "cover" position as a manager in a Halliburton/Blackwater mercenary/PR company, and she is at least as annoying as you'd imagine if you've seen some of her other films, but without being funny in any way.