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Review: 'War, Inc.'

Edgy black comedy alternates with sophomoric gags – and it works.

By Peter Rainer / May 24, 2008



Political satire is always a risky business, and never more so than when the targets are close to home. "Dr. Strangelove," the greatest example of the genre, was only a slight distortion of the lunacy that surrounded the '60s nuclear-arms race. And now we have "War, Inc.," starring John Cusack as a hit man.

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Set in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Turaqistan, the film is about the first entirely outsourced war. You may find the laughs catching in your throat. Director Joshua Seftel and his team of screenwriters, which includes Cusack, alternate edgy black comedy with sophomoric gags.

It's a bewildering mix of very smart and very dumb, but the cast, which also features a hilarious Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei, Dan Aykroyd as the Cheney-esque ex-vice president, and Hilary Duff as a Turaqistan airhead pop star, is tiptop. Grade: B. (Rated R for violence, language, and brief sexual material.)

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