War on Everyone (out now on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and On Demand) is a throwback to the late 1990s, when every writer director with an outrageous pitch and a convincing swagger got his shot to make his own version of a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, The Big Hit, 2 Days in the Valley, Suicide Kings, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, Very Bad Things, The Boondock Saints, Lucky Number Slevin, Seven Psychopaths: you can find a few people who love every single one of those movies but none of them have enough fans to be considered classics.
Writer and director made his name with The Guard and Calvary, two well-regarded indie films starring Brendan Gleeson. He took that credibility and goodwill and chose to hire Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña to play two of the dirtiest cops ever to get their own movie.
It's a black comedy. The film opens with the two chasing a robber who happens to be dressed as a mime. The mime is running, they're in a muscle car. Peña wonders if a mime makes a sound if you run him over and Skarsgård decides to find out. The scene plays better than it reads here and, if you laugh, you might want to stick around for the rest of the movie. If you don't, it's definitely time to bail.
There's a complicated plot about missing loot from a robbery, loot that the cops want for themselves. Unfortunately, there's a new criminal in town and he turns out to be the most formidable foe our (anti-)heroes have faced to date. If you're into creative profanity, Peña especially shines with filthy insults aimed at the criminals, his partner and even his wife and kids.
Lines from the script suggest that the movie was originally set in upstate New York, but it was most definitely filmed in New Mexico with that state's generous film tax credits. The cops drive a series of beautiful cars that get (fake) crashed through the movie and keep reappearing without a scratch. At one point, Peña and Skarsgård improvise a few lines about the mysterious indestructibility of their cars.
There's a making-of bonus documentary that suggests how much fun everyone had making the movie. Even if War on Everyone fails to rise to the level of shock and anarchy that everyone was obviously aiming for, it's better than most of the fake QT movies listed above. It's a good second choice if you're stuck at the Redbox and want a double feature night.