Mainstream political satire, as stereotypical as they come. Its insights are (and were) dated, its wittiness is subpar, tight buns on office girls are not bad. Pacing seems enhanced due to lack of any real suspense, with even occasional subplots, notably around charges for drug use, resolving within fifteen minutes or so. With controversy in traces, and even less subtlety, it's not more than a digestible pastime.
Aaron Sorkin has finally elaborated on the original ending of this movie as scripted, with a shot of the Pentagon in flames on 9/11/01. That is, maybe, too dark of a way to end this movie, which already does what it sets out to do in criticising US foreign policy and failed interventionism when a thoughtless US politician gives a stump speech to a crowd of Aghans and ends it shouting "Allah Akbar" alongside them.
Although it is hard to truly understand what Charlie Wilson's War is trying to be (it can be many things - such as a satire on US foreign policy or a depiction of what led to 9/11 - but it lacks depth wherever it goes), Mike Nichols' film is still an excellent comedy and a very interesting, but brief historical document because he's working with Aaron Sorkin's unique script (HIS WORDS!) and with a perfect cast.
Hoffman is fantastic as always, Hanks is charming, Adams is cute, Roberts is woefully miscast, Nichols plays the annoying Hollywood patriotism card, Sorkin is typical Sorkin, the ending glosses over the unfortunate consequences of funding Afghanistan. An ultimately flawed yet funny and enjoyable film.
Tom Hanks' entire career is based on his likeability, and I haven't disliked him as much in a movie since the Bonfire of The Vanities. At least that had some bravura direction from Brian de Palma to give it interest. This was just an ugly story filmed ugly. Hard to believe it's from the same Mike Nichols that made Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge, The Graduate, etc...