“Oh shit…Hey, we are the cops!”
‘War On Everyone’ is another take on the well-worn ‘Buddy Cop’ genre. Set in the now but with some clearly 1970s touches and aesthetics these cops are rude, crude and dangerous to know… though not quite as funny as they think they are. Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh – who is best known for the truly incredible The Guard and Calvary – just isn’t as shocking or outrageous as it tries to be.
Skarsgard and Pena are great in their roles – managing to keep straight-faced in the world of weirdness that they occupy. Pena provides fantastic face and epitomises comedy perfection with his timing. Skarsgard clearly has fun with his role and proves that he is much more than just a pretty face (although last year’s vastly underappreciated ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’ also did this – click here for my review). Both provide a couple of belly laughs with their performances, Pena’s intellectual theorising is reminiscent of the rapport between Travolta and L.Jackson in ‘Pulp Fiction’. A mention must also go to James who does an excellent job at presented a repellent charmer of a villain.
It’s what they have to work with that is inconsistent. The gags are far too infrequently thrown into a storyline lacks development and takes unexpected paths that the audience are not prepared enough for. The film aims the be the kind of film ‘The Nice Guys’ (click here for my review) managed to be. Whereas ‘The Nice Guys’ had heart and a whole lotta comedy (although admittedly it too had a slightly muddled storyline) ‘War On Everyone’ can only be defined as weird, and not in a good way.
Dir:John Michael McDonaghme: 97 minutes
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña, Theo James, Tessa Thompson, Malcolm Barrett, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephanie Sigman.
War On Everyone opened in UK cinemas on October 7th.