Reviewed by: Christopher Walker
|Featuring:||John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff, Ben Kingsley, Dan Aykroyd, Ned Bellamy, Velizar Binev, Shirly Brener, Marc Casabani, Ben Cross, Doug Dearth, Itai Diakov, Georgi Gatzov, Nick Harvey, Lyubomir Neikov, Rachel O'Meara, Velislav Pavlov, Bashar Rahal, Joost Scholte, Stanimir Stamatov, Davorka Tovilo, Sergej Trifunovic, Montel Williams, George Zlatarev|
|Producer:||John Cusack, Vic David, Doug Dearth, Danny Lerner, Grace Loh, Mark Roper, Les Weldon|
|Distributor:||First Look International|
“When it comes to war… America means business. / An incendiary political cartoon”
John Cusack can even make an assassin character like Brand Hauser believable; he reprises his good-guy/assassin schtick from “Grosse Point Blank” and transplants that into the body of Brand Hauser, an assassin who describes himself as “a refugee from the Island of Dr. Moreau” and being a “morally inverted, twisted character from a saline novel.” He’s the type of hitman who is regularly bored with his job, with an uncanny passion for hot sauce. You’ll find this character only in “War, Inc.” It not only works as a political satire film, but works as a character study piece as well. It does succeed by balancing out off-the-wall humor and emotional heartfelt drama.
After a successful assassination attempt in Canada, Brand is piloting a jet going home when he gets another assignment thrown in his lap, one coming directly from the ex-Vice President (Dan Aykroyd) who looks a lot like Cheney. His mission: to assassinate Turaqistan’s prime minister Omar Sharif (the character, not the actor). His cover: a show producer at Tamerlane base working with Marsha Dillon (Joan Cusack) on producing the gala wedding of Turaqistan’s famous pop singer Yonica Babyyeah (Hilary Duff) to the prime minister's son,. Arriving at the same time to cover the gala wedding is liberal magazine reporter Natalie Hegalhuzen (Marisa Tomei), who is about to uncover their immoral practices. Hauser quickly tries to diffuse the situation by warming up to Natalie, but finds himself falling for her in the process.
Everybody plays well in the movie here and nobody is at fault. The movie’s script succeeds and offers a right blend of dark satirical humor and heartfelt drama. As Yonica Babyyeah, Hilary Duff goes against stereotype but in somewhat familiar territory as she is a pop singer herself. Her likeliness is compared to America’s Britney Spears and the songs she sings are laced with double entendres that serve as irony in it’s own satirical humor (the song titles are “I Wanna Blow You Up” and “Boom Boom, Bang Bang”). She holds her own well, and is one of the many fine performances outlined in this film. Along with starring, Cusack also had his hand in writing and producing the film, and his knack of talent shows in every frame he commands himself in.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild