War Dogs is a movie from the year 2016 that presents the story of two American arms dealers named Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz. The film was based on Guy Lawson’s 2011 article in Rolling Stone and his 2015 book, Arms and the Dudes. Efraim Diveroli’s 2016 memoir Once a Gun Runner also inspired its scriptwriters, Jason Smilovic and Stephen Chin, along with the director Todd Phillips. These sources thus raised the question if the movie War Dogs is based on a true story. And its fans want a clear answer now.
War Dogs as a movie is a black comedy crime film, that stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as the central characters of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz. The Gray Man actress Ana de Armas, along with the co-producer, Bradley Cooper, is also a part of War Dogs. In this article, hence, we will revisit the 2016 movie War Dogs and try to find out the answer if it’s really based on a true story on not. So let us begin.
About War Dogs
Todd Phillips directed War Dogs, an American comedy crime film that was released on August 19, 2016, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was a story of arms dealers, Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, who supplied ammunitions for the Afghan National Army while working for the contract from the U.S. Army.
The film has an IMDb rating of 7.1. However, the reviews for War Dogs were mixed. Hill was nominated for his performance at Golden Globe Awards.
The Star Cast
War Dogs stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as the arms dealers, Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, respectively. Ana de Armas as David’s girlfriend Iz, Kevin Pollak as Ralph Slutzky, Patrick St. Esprit as Captain Phillip Santos, Bradley Cooper as Henry Girard, JB Blanc as an Albanian driver Bashkim, etc., are some other significant actors along with their respective characters in the film.
The movie War Dogs is set in the year 2005. David Packouz, a massage therapist, lives in Miami, Florida, with his girlfriend Iz. After spending his life savings on failing ventures of his own, David approaches his old friend and the owner of AEY Inc., Efraim Diveroliand his finance Ralph Slutzky.
At the same time, Iz informs David of her pregnancy. And hence the needy David joins Efraim’s firm, despite being against the wars. David and Efraim receive a contract to supply several thousand Beretta pistols to the Iraqi Police in Baghdad. However, their shipment is blocked by an Italian embargo. Failing to deliver the cargo means getting blacklisted from any future contracts. Hence, they bribe locals, bribe a border patrol, and return to the military base where Captain Santos praises them for surviving the Triangle of Death, paying them handsomely.
Meanwhile, David’s daughter Ella is born, but Iz learns about his real job and leaves to live with her mother. Here, AEY secured a larger and more lucrative “The Afghan deal” from the US government that needed a supply of 100 million rounds of AK-47 ammunition. However, the global shortage of this ammunition lands them meeting legendary arms dealer Henry Girard, a man on a terrorist watchlist.
The two go to Albania, test the ammunition and win the contract. But the supplies are Chinese-made and illegal. Thus they decide to repackage the ammunitions. In the meantime, Efraim plans to cut out Henry. But Henry kidnaps David, where he learns about Efraim’s ill management in the company.
He returns to Efraim for his share in AEY before quitting his job, but Efraim refuses. David returns to his wife and works as a massage therapist again. Months later, Henry offers David a briefcase of money in exchange for “no more questions” and apologizes to David for abducting him in Albania. The chapter closes with David’s decision unclear.
War Dogs: A true story or mere inspiration?
We already know that Guy Lawson’s 2011 article in Rolling Stone and his 2015 book, Arms and the Dudes, along with Efraim Diveroli’s 2016 memoir Once a Gun Runner were some of the sources inferred by the scriptwriters of War Dogs. And this means the movie War Dogs is based on the true story of David and Efraim. Even David Packouz did a brief cameo in the movie. However, the makers have taken the freedom of modifications.
The sources validate the unbelievable scenarios that actually happened. For example, the leading duo’s marijuana-infused adventures before they met the Department of Defense representatives. The real swiss Army arms dealer, Heinrick Thomet, inspired the character of Henry, but he never kidnapped David. What was fictitious is David and Efraim’s dramatic adventures overseas and their real ages.
Hence, War Dogs is a true story of David and Efraim with added flavors of drama and adventures.