SYNOPSIS: Based on real life experiences of a journalist embedded in the Middle East, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot follows Kim Barker, a Chicago Tribune journalist reporting on Operation Enduring freedom. Tina Fey stars as Barker in this sardonic look at the simultaneously harrowing and darkly absurd early days of the war in Afghanistan. The horrors of I.E.D.s and airstrikes are tempered with a love story that could only happen in a conflict zone when Barker falls for a fellow journalist gunning for the first scoop on the fast unfolding war.
For a movie that stars the sharp-witted and talented Tina Fey (30 Rock, Date Night) and based on a memoir by real-life journalist Kim Barker, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot unfortunately never quite hit the mark. Neither insightful nor exactly rib tickling, it wastes the opportunity to delve deeper into the subject matter and Fey’s character even with a generous running time of two hours.
Fey stars as Kim Baker, a deskbound journalist who decides to take on an assignment as a war correspondent in Afghanistan to escape her current mundane job. Staying in a heavily protected living quarter with other international journalists, Baker finds comfort in the company of an alpha male bodyguard Nic (Steve Peacocke), driver/translator Fahim (Christopher Abbot), UK news reporter Tanya (Margot Robbie) and freelance Scottish photographer Iain (Martin Freeman) as she maneuvers her way through local politics, customs, an on-and-off love relationship and the disillusioned of her new job.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is more about the life of Kim Baker than the atrocities of war despite the initial promise of terrorism and the danger of being a journalist in a war zone area. Most of the fish-out-of-water jokes liked Baker putting herself in dangerous situations and gawking at her well-built bodyguard wears thin after 30 minutes or so. The movie literally fumbles and drags its way to the finishing line as we struggles together with Baker as she attempts to find meaning in her life.
With the exception of a pretty intense scene, which has Baker hidden in a Burka to film a religious demonstration secretly and a closing chapter in which we sees the latter baring her feelings to a young injured Marine, the entire movie is contend in being moderately entertaining without much meaning even though Tina Fey puts in a commending performance.
Martin Freeman is of course likeable as Baker’s love interest, a character that doesn’t have much to do except shagging Baker and got himself kidnapped towards the end. And to add to the prestige casting, there is Alfred Molina portraying a lustful local official and Billy Bob Thornton as an Army General who befriends Baker. A pre-Suicide Squad Margot Robbie reunites with her Focus’ directors, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa although both did a rather disappointing job adapting a supposedly interesting topic to the screen.
Picture quality is serviceable enough on DVD. The Dolby Digital 5.1 features loud aggressive sound and ambience effects when require. It’s a talky comedy after all.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee