If the momentum of the first teaser for Netflix’s War Machine hinged on withholding Brad Pitt from view until the final seconds, the official trailer, which just dropped today, slides him completely into the spotlight with glorious results.
Stiff-backed with a perpetually furrowed brow, an earnest remark always on his lips and his arms angled ever-so-slightly too far from his torso, Pitt leans into the caricatural elements of his character with a gusto evoking Sterling Hayden’s performance as Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove. Seeing Pitt strut, bark and declare his way through various absurd situations (such as the one from the trailer’s opening segment, in which we see the guy instructing his men that simultaneously killing and helping civilians “just ain’t humanly possible”) begs the question why the actor hasn’t been cast in more comedies (a similar question has been asked with regards to Leonardo DiCaprio).
Other gut-busting, satirically on-point moments abound, such as when Pitt’s General McMahon is introduced as being the “man who kicked Al Qaeda in the sack” (crudely jingoistic to the point of hilarity) or when, in response to McMahon’s claim that the U.S. military’s “new direction” will be to “build Afghanistan into a free and prosperous nation,” former President of Afghanistan Karazi, here played by Sir Ben Kingsley, says dryly, “Sounds a lot like the old direction” (ouch).
Check out the full trailer above, and catch the film when it hits Netflix on May 26. You can also revisit the mostly Pitt-less first teaser here.