This is the single biggest investment in content Netflix has ever made, can it live up to it?
The hype is building for, what is arguably, Netflix Original’s biggest release to date. It can certainly lay claim to the biggest star to grace its original films, in Brad Pitt. War Machine (directed by David Michod) is a satirical film that follows the four-star General Glen McMahon as he is sent to Afghanistan towards the tail end of the American occupation of the country.
Watch the War Machine Trailer
The film has a couple of trailers out, as well as an original teaser. You can watch them below:
The War Machine Teaser Trailer
The teaser, released in March 2017, only offers a glimmer of the idiocy that is Pitt’s character, General McMahon.
In this teaser we learn that the US military is having issue engaging an enemy that looks exactly like the civilian populous. We also learn of the General’s lack of discussion with President Hamid Karzai (played by Ben Kingsley, a casting that will undoubtedly open the film up to accusations of whitewashing), the real-life, ex President of Afghanistan.
War Machine Trailer One
The trailer opens with the stunning revelation that “We can’t help [the Afghans] and kill them at the same time, it just ain’t humanly possible”. This efficiently encapsulates the idiocy that is General McMahon.
In the trailer we learn that General McMahon has a formidable reputation for being the man who “kicked al Qaida in the sack”. We meet Kingsley’s Karzai and we learn a lot about how the General sees the American military disengaging itself from the second longest military engagement in American history. His methods don’t involve any particular tactical nuance. We also get a glimpse of the paradoxical rules of engagement that exist within any military campaign that aims to win the hearts and minds of the populous. One soldier notes that, “It seems to me that we all here with our guns trying to convince these people we’re really nice guys.” And in one sentence sums up the absurdity of war and its rules.
War Machine Trailer Two
If the first trailer sheds light on the idiocy that is war, trailer two sets its sights on the General. The trailer, fittingly set to Plastic Bertrand’s famously nonsensical track Ca Plane Pour Moi, further compounds the ridiculousness of war. The General sits down with what appear to be Afghan elders and finds common ground after the American soldiers keep referring to the locals as “motherfucker”. He then assures the locals, and I paraphrase, that in America it is also a very bad thing to fuck your own mother. Singlehandedly missing the entire point of the parlay.
When is War Machine Released?
Netflix will be releasing the film War Machine globally on May 26 2017. It remains to be seen whether this film will get a limited cinematic release, but Netflix are open to the prospect of this in the future.
How Did Netflix Acquire War Machine?
The film is clearly the biggest title to sit under the Netflix Original name to date. Alongside Brad Pitt (whose production company Plan B produce the film) the film features Tilda Swinton, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace and Keith Stanfield.
Netflix came into the rights of the film after a series of lucky calamities. Originally the film was to be financed by RatPac Entertainment and New Regency, but after a dispute over budget Netflix swooped in. It paid $60 million for the privilege of titling it as a Netflix, this makes it the single largest investment in content the streaming service has ever made.
The film is based on a book written by Michael Hastings called The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. The non-fiction book follows General Stanley McChrystal and his team in Spring 2010.
War Machine is released globally on May 26 2017 on Netflix.
If you want more easily digestible content give our Everybody Loves a List section a read. You’ll find loads to keep you entertained