My time with the 2016 Toronto After Dark film festival got underway last night with the exceptional, brash, bold, politically incorrect, devastatingly hilarious War On Everyone. I think the only thing I would have changed about it is the name, everything else, totally worked for me.
Now, as a caveat, part of the enjoyment of the films that screen at this film festival comes from the audience you are sharing the screening with, if the crowd is into it, it’s incredibly easy to get swept along with them and have a great time.
And last night, we did!
Writer/director John Michael McDonagh gives us his take on the buddy cop movie as we follow two incredibly corrupt, and violent cops, family man Bob (Michael Pena) and Glenn Campbell loving Terry (Alexander Skarsgard) a wonderful pairing of actors who really seemed to be enjoying their work in this film.
In Albuquerque these two cops seem to be getting away with anything they want, and even their lieutenant (Paul Reiser) has had enough of them. When they tumble onto the rumour of a heist, they see a chance to relieve the crooks of an incredibly large amount of cash, but end up getting more than they bargained for as the villain of the piece, Lord James Mangan (Theo James channelling his inner Connery, and turning in a finer performance here than any of the Divergent film series).
As Bob and Terry take on mimes, international travel, rednecks, and their drinking problems they are joined by Jackie (Tessa Thompson) and a young boy who may be the key to the case, but may make their job more personal than ever before.
Filled with brash humour, violence, a proliferation of F-bombs, and incredibly politically incorrect behaviour, statements and actions(serving as a potent mirror to the actions of the police in today’s world) War On Everyone entertained with its pointed commentary on the buddy cop film.
The film was filled with a plenitude of laugh out loud moments that left the audience in near hysterics, one practically brought the house down. This was a great way for me to dive into this year’s festival, and I can’t wait to see how the rest plays out.
If you’ve never been, head on down to Scotiabank, because tonight, it’s Zombie Night, and it’s going to be awesome!
Get a full list of screenings and ticket availability here! And we’ll see you After Dark!