I am not a film critic. I’m just a guy with a Netflix account and a lot of opinions. I also haven’t seen every film and television show about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from start to finish. For example, I only made it about a quarter of the way into Robert Redford’s tedious 2007 Iraq War drama Lions for Lambs before I decided to count my own farts instead. And while I did somehow manage to make it all the way through the first episode of Fox’s short-lived Enlisted, I had already erased every second of it from my memory by the time the credits started rolling.
With the White House mulling a new troop surge in Afghanistan, “War Machine,” a dark comedy about the last time we tried this, is exactly what we need right now. On the surface, the feature-length film from writer-director David Michôd — streaming on Netflix starting today — is an examination of post-colonial hubris. Brad Pitt stars as an eerily familiar four-star general tasked with doing what no other foreign military leader could: winning in the storied Southwest Asian graveyard of empires.
In March, we were treated to the delightful vision of Brad Pitt as a four-star general tasked with rebuilding Afghanistan in "War Machine, the “politically charged military satire" adapted from the late Michael Hastings' book “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan" that ended the career of said general. But while it was pretty clear from the brief 45-second teaser who, exactly, Pitt's channeling with his jovial smile and aw-shucks attitude, we didn't get a good taste of his portrayal.