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War on Everything

Director:  John Michael McDonagh
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  1.0

Two bad cops, Terry (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob (Michael Peña), break laws, do drugs, smash up vehicles, drink too much and are somehow never arrested themselves - ah, and they're "investigating" the sleazy crimes of Lord Mangan (Theo James), who makes porn (of ... all varieties) and kills his own associates. I guess McDonagh is trying to channel the old hard-boiled crime stories - with their political-incorrectness and gruffness - but liberally sprinkling in factoids, trivia and movie references (Simone de Beauvoir, The Blue Lagoon) with a barely-there plot and repulsive characters just doesn't work - the 'quirk-factor' is forced (a tennis match with Muslim women wearing burqas is there for a lame terrorism joke). With all due respect to Skarsgård and Peña, their 'characters' are too smug to be interesting - compare/contrast with the way Shane Black handled Gosling and Crowe's gruff outsiders in The Nice Guys. (Full disclosure: I only watched this because Tessa Thompson is in it ... she's always such a warm presence.)

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