“Everyone’s fighting over the same pie and ignoring the crumbs. I live off crumbs.”Efraim Diveroli
The true story of how two reunited schoolfriends in their twenties found themselves awarded lucrative arms contracts by the Pentagon is as unsettling as it is absurd. Director Todd Phillips channels Scorsese but falls into the same trap as The Wolf of Wall Street — in striving to entertain, the film inadvertently glamourises what it seeks to criticise. Jonah Hill is excellent as Efraim, inducing revulsion whilst also demonstrating how his partner is drawn in. Unfortunately, David is sketched blandly and — with the story narrated from his perspective — it hamstrings our connection with the subject matter. The human cost of the arms trade lies largely outside the scope of this film (in contrast to the powerful opening of Lord of War), with David’s eventual disillusionment coming from the strain that deception places on his relationships and his safety, rather than from real character growth.