Ben Oliver

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War Machine

The thing about counterinsurgency is that it doesn’t really work.
13 October 2018

Brad Pitt goes back to comedy after his very funny turn in Burn After Reading, this time playing a war-hungry general sent to Afghanistan in 2009 to ‘get it done’. Also, this time he’s not as funny.

Making a two hour film just to point out that the war in Afghanistan is a waste of time is a bit over-indulgent from Netflix. War Machine does try to capture the mindset of those interested in continuing with the fighting, but it fails to do anything that couldn’t have been done in half the time.

The first 10 minutes win you over - who doesn’t like making fun of the US military - but it’s a one trick pony. The sense of humour becomes monotonous and it’s frustrating that the film doesn’t deliver on its promise. The cast in particular struggle to find more than one note for their characters, Brad Pitt included.

There is definitely a gap in the market for a satirical take on the war in Afghanistan, it’s just a shame that War Machine doesn’t fill it.