There are few actresses in the business as busy in front and behind the camera in Hollywood as Tina Fey. She has become known for her comedies and been successful as such, but every so often she throws something unexpected into the mix. Her latest film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot teams her up with a great supporting cast including Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, Christopher Abbott, and Billy Bob Thornton, but does it bring something that stands out to the table or is not a war worth reporting on?
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot follows TV reporter Kim Baker who decides to serve as a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan, where she is embedded with a Marine unit. During her time abroad, she is forced to contend with a fiery U.S. general, befriends a fellow reporter and a British photographer. This is one of those films that is both hit and miss, but even with its shortcomings still manages to entertain. The story isn’t anything that hasn’t been told before, but the fish out of water nature in Afghanistan helps is feel fresh and new. Underneath the bombs, drama and laughs there is a story about a woman trying to find herself and in turn finds more about herself than she really likes due to the war torn world they are living in. Fey does an excellent job here bringing the confused innocence to the role and bringing the variety of emotions needed to make this story work. The rest of the cast do a great job with much of the dialogue feeling more natural between them. One of the best dynamics is that between Fey and Thornton who exchange a war of words throughout the film with some laughable and others just harsh. This dynamic give you a better feel to the different views of what is going on around them.
The culture and visuals that they have brought to life as Afghanistan plays as a character all its own and serves up the much needed backdrop for this story to succeed. Seeing how these reporters live while covering these wars is interesting in and of itself, but adding in the mix of action, love, friendships and betrayal makes the overall film feel like something new and different in the best way possible. This is a well-crafted story that showcases one woman’s experiences in this situation and will no doubt entertain, but fans of Enter the Dojo will be giddy with excitement to see Master Ken himself Matt Page in the cast a couple of fun memorable scenes.
This film isn’t as funny as some might expect, but also not as heavy as the themes might suggest, but instead walks that perfect thin line between both to make for a great movie. Fey has once again succeed in showcasing her broad range to bring this character to life and hopefully will continue to do so.