Star Rating:

War On Everyone

Actors: Stephanie Sigman, Theo James, Micheal Pena, stephen s, Alexander Skarsgard

Release Date: Friday 7th October 2016

Genre(s): Drama

Running time: 98 minutes

Two corrupt, but effectivecops in New Mexico meet their match in the form of a BritishPsychopath.

Somewhat of a departure for John Michael McDonaugh after the relative profundity of Calvary, War on Everyone sees the writer/director enjoying himself in what might be, subtly at least, his darkest work to date. The perversity being it's also his funniest.

From the opening frames where a mime gets run over by our (anti) heroes (who then steal his cocaine), the tone is firmly set. This is a McDonaugh script touching on the buddy movie sub-genre, but it's also royally fucked up. It's like he's challenging you to laugh at the absurdity of it; if you do you're in for a great time

While plot-wise it's as linear as they come, the hook comes in the sparks between Skarsgard and Pena and the characters in general. The statuesque Swede hunched over, projecting a damaged individual both inside and out. He and Pena have a truly effortless back and forth and it's clear these two guys were on the same page. It's as sporadically absurd as it is funny, so you'll need to be on board with that to get the full enjoyment. A random sequence set in Iceland, in particular, gives more than a few laughs as does an excellent David Wilmot who pretty much makes off with every scene he's in.

There are villains, obviously, and they're weird; the offensively handsome Theo James and an incredibly creepy, and rather excellent, Caleb Landry Jones. The conflict being that the buddy element, as bad as these cops are, is somewhat at odds with a story that gets increasingly dark the more the film moves on - cumulating, rather fittingly, in an old West style shootout at the end. But not before we learn about why Skarsgard's character is perpetually pissed - both figuratively and literally - as he takes care of a child witness.

Pena and Skarsgard are superb, as are the peripheral players. The humour doesn't so much zing as cut, leaving a scar.