There exists a great tradition in cinema of political satires that highlight current and future issues ironically through their use of dark comedy; whilst not actually featuring factual characters or events (i.e. The Manchurian Candidate)…this is one such film.
War Inc. is the 2008 dystopian satire from director Joshua Seftel and writers Mark Leyner, Jeremy Pikser and John Cusack; starring John Cusack, Hillary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack and Ben Kingsley.
The film is set in the fictional middle-eastern country Turaqistan (a not so subtle play on words); which has been taken over by an American corporation that is run by a former US Vice President (Aykroyd). In order to ease their commercial efforts in region they enlist the help of unstable hit-man Brand Hauser (John Cusack) who we are introduced to in a short action sequence which opens the film. Hauser’s cover is producer of the corporations military trade show but he is hindered in his assassination attempts by looking after celebrity singer Yonica Babyyea (Duff) whilst at the same time being pursued by investigative journalist Natalie Hegalhuzen (Tomei).
Response to the film has been mixed and it has been accused of overstating the situation but personally I took it for the ‘larger than life’ political satire that it is. I particularly enjoyed Joan Cusack’s comic yet controlled performance as authoritarian Marsha Dillon. There is also highly enjoyable performances from John Cusack and Dan Aykroyd.