Approaching Absurdity

War, Inc. is a twisted, cynical caricature of America’s commercialized foreign adventurism. The invasion and occupation of an imaginary Middle Eastern country (Turaqistan) has been contracted out to a private company who sells advertising space on tanks and formulates bombing campaigns based on profit potential. Cusack is an assassin/project manager who has been assigned to kill a Tadjik oil man, while he also hosts the wedding of an American-made, Turaqi pop princess (Hillary Duff) at the grand opening of an American-made shopping mall in the ruined national capital. Marisa Tomei is a reporter trying to get behind the commercial facade to find out what’s really going on in Turaqistan. Twenty years ago this would have simply been absurd comedy, something from Mel Brooks. Today, it’s still absurd, but it’s not so funny. It’s too close to our absurd reality.

Cusack and Tomei don’t deliver very inspiring performances, but Duff was better than I expected. That’s probably not saying much. Nobody gets any respect in this movie. Rodney Dangerfield would have approved. It wasn’t great, but still worth watching just for the insane portrayal of America’s national past-time.

 


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