When you think about the 16 years America has been fighting in Afghanistan, “funny” probably isn’t a word that comes to mind. So, at first blush, the new dark comedy War Machine feels a bit risky. It stars Brad Pitt as a revered but semi-clueless four-star general who’s appointed to oversee the entire war effort in Afghanistan.
Pitt says the film uses comedy to lure viewers in, then it shows them some harsh realities. “I would say our film is funny until it’s not; until the dial is turned to a more serious tone, till we get to the real repercussions for the troops, who are actually having to follow these orders.”
War Machine was directed by Australian filmmaker David Michôd. He says if there are scenes that seem insensitive, well, there’s a legacy there. “America, as we know, has a long and rich history of war comedy — you know, [Dr.] Strangelove, M*A*S*H and Catch-22 and … even Stripes.”
Photo: Francois Duhamel/Netflix