WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT – MOVIE REVIEW

War! What is it good for?  Apparently everything… including sex, drugs, and improving your hotness level.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot as I’m sure you’ve already deciphered, is the phonetic alphabet translation of WTF and I’m positive you know what that stands for.  Based of Kim Barker’s best-selling true story – ‘The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan’, Tina Fey plays Kim Baker, the desk jockey turned front-line war correspondent.  So, is it any good?YESLooking for more out of life than working 9-5, Kim heads to Afghanistan during the early 2000’s to report on the conflict.  Overtime she becomes addicted to the wild lifestyle of parties and the rush of a fire-fight in a surreal world miles away from her own.  She’s constantly looking for the next lead, the next hit, the next story that will keep her on an adrenaline high for longer.  When the war in Iraq becomes the hot story and Afghanistan is old news, the journalists have to go to even further lengths to find a scoop.wtfThe supporting actors are great, Margot Robbie plays the English reporter that Kim aspires to be, Martin Freeman is a loveable Scottish rogue.  Christopher Abbott – The local Fixer who’s getting in touch with his feminine side, Stephen Peacocke’s muscle bound Kiwi bodyguard who seems more interested in having a good time than protecting his client.  Alfred Molina hamming it up as the lecherous Afghan politician.  In fact the only other actor aside from Tina who plays their true nationality is Billy Bob Thornton as the no nonsense General Hollanek, stealing every scene he’s in with dry one liners.Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Wallpaper-1920x1080Produced by Lorne Michaels and screenplay by Robert Carlock (both 30 Rock regulars) you’d be forgiven for expecting to see a movie about Private Liz Lemon.  Although similar to the TV show it’s situationally funny and self-deprecating, including the same style of call back in-joke comedy.  The trailer would have you believe WTF is pure satire but it’s much more than that.  Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa incorporate a fair amount of drama and comedy into the story but ultimately the movie focuses around the relationships between Kim, her friends, lovers and sources of information.  The heart of the story is centred around the struggle of socialising with the very people she could be writing about and the consequences of her actions. One false word or gesture and things can go from zero to crap in 3.4 seconds.  This leads to some genuine moments of tension focusing on a strong intelligent woman in a man’s world, where the best complement she can hope to receive is “Put her in a turban and she’d make a very handsome boy”.wtf_05Although the arc of Kim Barkers book remains true, a couple of predicable plot points have been added but that’s ok, as they don’t distract from the key messages of the film.  Some critics may say that the war has not be given enough gravitas, which is true, but I feel that it would have bogged the story down in political drama. However there are sudden injections of action added into the mix to help punctuate the levity especially when the movie is peppered with retro music such as ‘Ah Ha’s – Take on Me’.whiskey-tango-foxtrotThis is definitely Tina Fey’s best lead role, which may not be saying a great deal but it’s a step in the right direction to flexing her acting chops for meatier roles.  She was a perfect choice for the part, in fact when a New York Times Reporter reviewed the book they referred to Kim’s story as “…a sort of Tina Fey character”, which prompted Kim to get in touch with Tina’s people.

This is a black comedy with an interesting perspective on love, war and what drives people to do the things they do.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is in cinemas now!

Comments

comments