War Machine


Character: Glen McMahon
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Directed By: David Michôd
Written By: Michael Hastings (book), David Michôd (screenplay)
Genre: Comedy/Drama/War
Tagline: We’re gonna liberate the shit out of you.
MPAA Rating: Rated TV-MA
Produced by: Netflix, Plan B Entertainment
Distributed by: Netflix
Budget: $60.000.000 (estimated)
Filming Dates: –

Brad Pitt…Glen McMahon
Daniel Betts…Simon Ball
John Magaro…Cory Staggart
Emory Cohen…Willy Dunne
RJ Cyler…Andy Moon
Topher Grace…Matt Little

Filming Locations:
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Pariser Platz, Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany
London, England, UK
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (Closing Scene, Russel Crowe Cameo)
Rue Godot-de-Mauroy, Paris 75009

An idiosyncratic general confronts opposition from enemies, allies, and bureaucrats while leading a massive rebuild operation in Afghanistan.

Trivia & Facts:
Despite being an anti-Afghanistan war movie, Pentagon reporter Helene Cooper spoke with The New York Times podcast The Daily that “everybody at the Pentagon is talking about [War Machine].” “It’s a very anti-Afghanistan war movie, but the guys who you think would be offended by it, love it,” Cooper added. “It’s amazing to me. So many of them have lost colleagues, they’ve lost fellow soldiers and are constantly asking, ‘What are we still doing there? What are we fighting for?’ But at the same time, we have these officers who say, ‘We’ve lost all these people in Afghanistan, we’ve spent so much blood and treasure on the ground in that country and then you just turn around and pull out. What was that for?’ It’s a contradiction at the same time.”
Anthony Hayes’ also worked with writer/director David Michôd in Animal Kingdom (2010) and The Rover (2014).
Brad Pitt has previously worked with Topher Grace twice before, both briefly in Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and Ocean’s Twelve (2004).
Brad Pitt has previously worked with Tilda Swinton in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Burn After Reading (2008).
Brad Pitt and Scoot McNairy worked together in 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Killing Them Softly (2012).
The movie has clear references to the real events took place in between the appointment in 2009 and resignation in 2010 of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as the ISAF commander. (For those who are familiar with that particular period, this movie will give the impression of a humorous documentary. And the background voice of the Rolling Stone journalist throughout the film can be said to increase this feeling.)
Both Topher Grace and Josh Stewart have starred in Interstellar (2014).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The statue visited by Glen after his press conference is located at the Neue Wache (New Guardhouse) in Berlin. It is a enlarged version of Käthe Kollwitz “Pietà.” Though the original was not sculpted for this purpose, it was placed as a memorial to all Victims of War and Dictatorship.
The scene in the war room where the Glen briefs his team about launching the operation on Kandahar/Helmand, before approaching Karzai for permission to execute, Foxy can be seen around the map table. Foxy is a television adviser for production in high risk situations. Featured in ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’ – a military reality competition on ITV – he is a real special forces veteran with experience in Afghanistan whilst serving with the Royal Marines and the Special Boat Service.

From the gallery

President Karzai: Your predecessor, General Whelan! I liked him! I’m not entirely certain he liked *me*; he didn’t visit very often. Why was he dismissed? It seems- uhh, one minute he was here- uh, next minute, not here.
Gen. Glen McMahon: Ah. Well, Mr. President, I think our government simply felt it was time our effort took a new direction.
President Karzai: And uh, what is this new direction?
Gen. Glen McMahon: Ah! It’s most important to me that we *build* Afghanistan. Together, we build Afghanistan into a free and prosperous nation, free from fear and conflict.
President Karzai: I see.
Gen. Glen McMahon: Yeah.
President Karzai: I see. Sounds a lot like the *old* direction.

Gen. Glen McMahon: We hope to launch Operation Moshtarak *tonight*. I need your official consent before doing so.
President Karzai: [surprised] Really?
Gen. Glen McMahon: Yes, sir.
President Karzai: Why?
Gen. Glen McMahon: Because it’s your mission.
President Karzai: It is?
Gen. Glen McMahon: Yes, sir!
President Karzai: Ah. No one has ever asked me to approve a mission before.
Gen. Glen McMahon: Well that needs to change! This mission *needs* your consent. If we’re to win the trust of Helmand Province, it demands that this mission be seen to be of your design. I-
[the President sneezes loudly and one of his nose tampons fly off]
Gen. Glen McMahon: I don’t mean to be rude, Mr. President, uhm, but it is *imperative* that you begin to take a leadership role here. We cannot win this thing alone.
[the President shakes his head adamantly, captured by Glen’s pep talk]
Gen. Glen McMahon: Without your active involvement, our presence here will never be anything more than a foreign occupation! This is *your war*.
[the President nods]
Gen. Glen McMahon: For your country!
[the President nods again]
Gen. Glen McMahon: Your people!
[the President nods once more]
Gen. Glen McMahon: Again, I’m sorry sir, but you need to- behave like a leader.
President Karzai: But I am behaving like a leader! I’m unavailable. I am as unavailable to you as is your own president. Hm?
[Glen clears his throat uncomfortably]
President Karzai: You have my approval, General. We both know it was never really mine to give, but… I thank you for inviting me to participate in the *theater* of it all. And good luck. I wish you much success.
[the President turns the TV back on]

Gen. Glen McMahon: General.
[shakes his hand]
British Officer: We’re all… very excited to see you here; it’s an honor to meet you.
Gen. Glen McMahon: I’m excited to be here. Ain’t that right, Greg?
Greg Pulver: Yes indeed, sir, you’re very excited.

[Glen is briefing government officials on the mission in a conference room in Berlin, talking about counterinsurgency]
Gen. Glen McMahon: [to an audience member with her hand up] Yes ma’am.
German Politician: [with heavy German accent] General, the US invaded Afghanistan because of the Al-Qaeda attacks on September 11th. This is correct, yes?
Gen. Glen McMahon: Uh, yeah.
German Politician: You have been speaking to us now for 45 minutes.
[Someone in the back says “Lauter bitte”]
Gen. Glen McMahon: Oh, uh, where is the- uh… Oh thank you.
German Politician: [takes the microphone] Thank you.
[Says something in German to someone off screen, then turns to Glen]
German Politician: You have been speaking to us now for 45 minutes, and yet in all of that time, you have only mentioned Al-Qaeda once.
[Scott Cullen scoffs and takes out his pen]
German Politician: Your own vice president has advocated a much smaller and simpler counter-terrorism approach to incapacitate what is estimated to be little more than 100 Al-Qaeda fighters that still remain in Afghanistan to refocus on what it was that started this was in the first place.
Gen. Glen McMahon: Ah!
German Politician: [interrupting Glen] Your analysis of the insurgency there suggests to me that there is no monolithic Taliban. You are spread over the entire country. You are fighting 1,000 separate battles with locals whose principal ideological position would seem to be simply that they don’t want foreign soldiers in their village, and that, General, you must know, is a war you will *never* win.

Gen. Glen McMahon: [to the group of marines] I’ve spent the last week or so talking to guys who I would call middle management, but you boys are at the coal face. After all the blah blah blah, *you* boys are actually where it happens. I’d go so far as to say you boys are the only thing that counts. If it doesn’t happen here, it doesn’t happen, end of story.
[to Billy, who raises his hand]
Gen. Glen McMahon: Yes son?
Cpl. Billy Cole: If what doesn’t happen, sir?
Gen. Glen McMahon: *It*, son.
Cpl. Billy Cole: Okay, thank you, sir.
Gen. Glen McMahon: Does anyone here know what “it” is? Anyone?
Gen. Glen McMahon: *Any* one?
[points to Ricky who’s raised his hand]
Ricky Ortega: To- uh, secure the area, sir? To protect the people from the enemy so they can go about building their lives.
Gen. Glen McMahon: Okay. O-kay. Thank you, Sarge.
Cpl. Billy Cole: Okay, but I can’t tell the difference between the people and the enemy. They all look alike to me. I’m sure they’re the same people, sir.

Gen. Glen McMahon: God damn it, Pete. Why are you fat?

Gen. Glen McMahon: What do you think this dinner is for, Tom Howard.
Tom Howard: uh General, this uh, this, this dinner is uh, to honor you sir.
Gen. Glen McMahon: [immediately] Wrong. This dinner is for Afghanistan. We’re here tonight because we’re at war in Afghanistan. And you’ve got the goddamn gall, to kick the only Afghan in the room off my goddamn table?

Gen. Glen McMahon: Let me tell you want I want you to do, Tom Howard. I want you to go sit your ass down wherever the fuck your ass was officially designated to sit, and I want you to tell Badi to bring his ass back over here!
[slams on the table simultaneously]
Tom Howard: [stands] I’m sorry sir.
[glances across the table and to Jeannie McMahon]
Tom Howard: Ma’am.

Gen. Glen McMahon: Let’s say you have ten insurgents. Huh? Now, let’s say you kill two of ’em. Now, how many insurgents do you have left? Hmm? Hmm? Well, you’d say eight, of course. Eight. Right? Right? Wrong! In this scenario, ten minus two equals 20. Let’s say the two insurgents you just killed, uh… each had six friends or brothers or some such, who are hovering on the brink of… of joining the insurgency. They’re thinking about this insurgency thing. “Looks interesting. But, you know, for one reason or other, not for me.” But… So, then you go and kill their friend. Now you’ve just made up their minds for ’em. Those hovering friends are now full, paid-up members of the enemy. Yeah. And so, in the math of counterinsurgency, ten minus two… equals 20.

Gen. Glen McMahon: Sir, My team and I are about to embark on a tour of the country, so that we may make an assessment to precisely understand what is required of us here. It could be an honor if you would consider joining me on the tour so that our project might be a unified endeavor. A sharing of our purpose.
President Karzai: Thank you for your invitation, General. It’s very generous. But I’ve seen the country.

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