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War, Inc. - Blu-ray DVD / comic action DVD / satire and comedy DVD review
WAR, INC. Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Featuring: John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Ben Kingsley, Hilary Duff, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack
Director: Joshua Seftel Studio: First Look Pictures
DVD release: 14 October 2008 Runtime: 107 min.
(1 disc)
Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Audio tracks (English - Dolby True HD Audio), Subtitles (English SDH, Spanish), Previews

John Cusack plays Brand Hauser, a government killer in the not-too-distant future. He offs people who mess up business deals with the government, which itself is a business in this strange otherworld. Hauser is losing his taste for the game by the look of it, though. He keeps super-hot chili sauce on hand and drinks shots of it when he needs to run from his feelings. His next job takes him to Turaqistan, a country occupied by a Haliburton-like company. His target: a man named Omar Sharif (Lubomir Neikov), who plans to build an oil pipeline that conflicts with the former Vice President's (Dan Aykroyd) plans.

Add to the mix that Hauser's cover is as a the organizer of a trade show, and that a Middle-Eastern version of Britney Spears named Yonica Babyyeah (Hilary Duff) is scheduled to get married at the trade show to Middle-Eastern K-Fed simulacrum Ooq-Mi-Fay (Sergej Trifunovic). Yonica doesn't seem too committed to Ooq-Mi-Fay and spends a considerable time writhing about, dropping scorpions down her pants, and making Hauser uncomfortable in an indescribable way.

Award-winning reporter Natalie Hegalhuzen (Marisa Tomei) is hoping for access to areas of a more interesting and dangerous nature outside the Emerald City (think "Green Zone"). She's not much for the nonsense and tolerates Hauser's advances to accomplish her goals.

While War, Inc. tries to be clever and biting, it seems to stray between being smart and being silly. There are some pretty funny bits - tanks and other war machines with sponsorship logos emblazoned on them, a fight between Hauser and a wheelchair-bound assailant, the secret government office in the bunker beneath a Popeye's chicken joint. However, as the smile still warms your face, you have more serious issues to deal with. Kidnapping, murder, and the like in and around the emerald city. It's just hard to tell if it's supposed to be a silly movie or a serious one. They failed to make the film consistent enough to give it an even flavor throughout. I wish I could recommend it, but as it stands, it's just too inconsistent to be engaging throughout.

The Blu-ray release has excellent sound and video but offers little else to help it along. A commentary track from the director and writers couldn't have hurt. I'm sure the studio just didn't want to spend the extra cash on something that didn't make too much money in the box office.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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