WAR, INC. (**) - Starring John Cusack, Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd and Ben Kingsley.
Directed by Joshua Seftel.
This satire isn't as clever or timely as it thinks it is. Maybe three years ago it would have felt more so, but its targets are obvious, and the dark humor doesn't translate to laughs very often.
John Cusack works for a company called Tamerline (which seems to be what Halliburton and Blackwater would be if they merged). They're a private company that the US contracts out to conduct their wars for them, and they're run by a former US president, played by Dan Aykroyd, who uses facial tics somewhere between Dick Cheney and Jonathan Winters. Tamerline has conquered the Middle East country of Turaqistan, and Cusack is the assassin/manager running the place.
There's some Dr. Strangelove aims of madness here, but it reminded me more Southland Tales, another ambitiously messy movie. Some ideas work better as ideas than actually acted out, and some are just bad ideas.