Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

(2016)

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Title:
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Release Date:
4th March 2016
Runtime:
112 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writers:
Kim Barker, Robert Carlock
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

In 2002, cable news producer Kim Barker (Tina Fey) decides to shake up her routine by taking a daring new assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dislodged from her comfortable American lifestyle, Barker finds herself in the middle of an out-of-control war zone. Luckily, she meets Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie), a fellow journalist who takes the shellshocked reporter under her wing. Amid the militants, warlords and nighttime partying, Barker discovers the key to becoming a successful correspondent.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 68%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 58%
IMDb Rating 6.6

Casts

Alfred Molina as Ali Massoud Sadiq
Christopher Abbott as Fahim Ahmadzai
Margot Robbie as Tanya Vanderpoel
Martin Freeman as Iain MacKelpie
Tina Fey as Kim Baker

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dr_Sagan 20th June, 2016

Well balanced movie...

W.T.F. is a movie which tries to belong in too many genres simultaneously, including Comedy, Drama, Romance, War, Action, Documentary, and has a statement to make about pretty much everything including long-distance relationships, politics, professionalism, cultural differences etc. etc. Without excelling in any of that, it manages to be a well balanced movie in the 110 minutes of its duration. Tina Fey plays Kim Barker, a real person and an actual journalist, who is dissatisfying from her career covering low profile stories, and decides to go to Afghanistan as a war correspondent for a few months, or so she thought... The movie has a good structure. It starts as a comedy, something you might expect because of the main actress, but soon the situations become real and more dramatic. The rest of the cast includes well known actors like Alfred Molina, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Margot Robbie. Overall: Don't expect a comedy because of Tina Fey. It starts like that but it evolves to other genres really quick. It might not be a great movie but it's not boring and you get something out of the inner journey of the protagonist. How easy is to feel unnatural situations as normal when you are a long way from home...

Reviewed by bankofmarquis 8th March, 2016

Strong Satirical look at the Afghanistan conflict

One of the reasons that I write reviews of movies is that I hope to turn people on to good movies that might otherwise fly under their radar. Such is my hope with Tina Fey's latest film WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT - a satirical view of the conflict in Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of a novice International reporter (Fey). What starts out as a funny and corny "fish out of water" movie, slowly morphs into a more serious film about the addictive nature of constantly being in a warzone situation. Fey is perfectly cast as the central character - war correspondent Kim Baker - who heads to an overseas assignment in Afghanistan to escape a rather humdrum life. I was a little nervous, at first, as all the funny parts that were in the trailer were in the first 1/2 hour of this film - and Fey handles those with aplomb. She is a gifted comedienne, so these scenes looked effortless for her. It is her transition to a more serious reporter, addicted to the adrenaline of her job that Fey really shines. I was impressed with her serious work in THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU and was anxious when it looked like her career regressed with last December's SISTERS, but I'm happy to say she continues to grow as an actress and she is strong in this part. But, this movie is more than just Fey. She has a very strong supporting cast around her - Martin Freeman as an Irish photographer, Margot Robbie (who continues to grow as an actress) as a friend/journalist competitor to Fey, Alfred Molina as an Afghanistan politician and newcomer (at least to me) Christoper Abbott as Fey's interpreter - they all bring something interesting to the table that helps this movie along. Special mention should be made of Billy Bob Thornton's General Hollander - the US Commander in the region. While he does not have many scenes in the movie, he brings a presence that is heads and shoulders above everyone else when he is on screen. This fits well in this movie, for the Commanding General in that region should be heads and shoulders above the rest. He also gave me the best laugh in this movie (a joke I will not spoil here). This movie is much, much more than a simple rom-com or military comedy, it is a Comedy/Drama that brings quite a bit of heart to it. I would strongly encourage you to seek this one out, you'll be glad you did. 8 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to Bank (of Marquis)

Reviewed by KnowYourRights1 7th March, 2016

A Great Film, But The Sexual Content And The Bad Language Are Unnecessary!

Dissatisfied with the state of her career covering low-profile stories, television journalist Kim Baker (Tina Fey) agrees to take a short assignment as a war correspondent in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, to the disappointment of her boyfriend, who also spends a lot of time traveling. Assigned low-budget living quarters with other international journalists, she begins friendships with noted Australian correspondent Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) and openly lecherous Scottish freelance photographer Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman). After a period of adjustment aided by her Afghan "fixer" Fahim Ahmadzai (Christopher Abbott), she begins taking well to the assignment, eliciting frank remarks on camera from soldiers questioning the value of their assignment there, and putting herself in harm's way to capture combat incidents on video. American Marines commander General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton) takes a dim view of her, as an inexperienced nuisance. Despite the danger, Kim stays in Afghanistan for months, then years beyond her original assignment. She catches her boyfriend unprepared with a middle-of-the-night video call, and finds him with another woman, ending their relationship. Against her better judgment, she begins a sexual relationship with Iain, which over time also develops into a more personal one. Although her status as a woman presents challenges in a society which places restrictive roles on women, she also uses it to her advantage, gaining access to women in a village who explain that they've been sabotaging the US-built well because they welcome the daily walk to the river away from the men, and recklessly carrying a camera under a burqa to record a religious demonstration. She also walks a tightrope, taking advantage of the thinly-veiled sexual interest of Afghan government figure Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) to use him as a source. Fahim – who treated opium addicts before the war – cautions her, pointing out that danger can be like a drug. Despite their mutual friendliness, Kim remains in competition with other journalists for stories and for resources from their employers back home. Kim flies to New York to argue for more support from her network's new boss, only to discover that Tanya is slated to take over from her. Meanwhile, Iain is kidnapped for ransom while traveling cross-country to cover a developing story that Kim had been working on. Kim returns "home" to Afghanistan, where she blackmails her "friend" Ali for information about Iain's whereabouts, and impresses upon Gen. Hollanek the political value to him of rescuing Iain. The mission – accompanied by Kim's cameraman – is a success, both militarily and journalisticly. But Kim begins to see the danger that she is putting herself in, bids farewell to her colleagues and to Fahim, and returns to the U.S. to stay. After returning, she looks up a soldier (Evan Jonigkeit) who was transferred because of his on-camera comments to her, and subsequently lost both of his legs to an IED. She tries to apologize for the consequences of her actions, but he refuses to let her take the blame. She moves on to an on-camera desk job, where she later finds herself interviewing Iain, who is going to be in New York soon, and invites her to meet him for a drink. Rated R For The Sexual Content, Bad Language And Violent War Images.

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 6th March, 2016

WTF, shouldered by Tina Fay, is NOT a comedy

"Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" (2016 release; 111 min.) brings the story ("Based on a True Story" we are reminded) of Kim Baker (played by Tina Fay.. As the movie opens, we see Baker in a heated argument with an Afghani man. Then we go "Two Years Earlier", where Baker, looking miserable, is in a team meeting for some news outfit. When told that there is a shortage of TV journalists in Afghanistan, Baker does not hesitate, and she volunteers, supposedly for a three month assignment. Next thing, we see Baker arrive at the Kabul Airport. At this point we are at most 10 minutes into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out. Couple of comments: this movie is the big screen adaptation of the book "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan" by real-life TV reporter Kim Barker (not sure why in the movie the names becomes "Baker"). The movie is the latest for directing team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who previously brought us "Crazy Stupid Love" and "Focus", among others. Here, they, along with producers Lorne "SNL" Michaels and Tina Fay herself, try to give us a glimpse of what it was like for an inexperienced journalist to come to Afghanistan in 2003 and report on the war. The early past of the movie shows us how Baker is adjusting to her new environment, and what a shock to the system it is indeed. Along the way we get to know fellow journalist Tanya Vanderpoel, (played by up-and-coming Australian actress Margot Robbie who also was in "Focus"). But the movie really takes off in the second hour (no worries, I won't spoil). Incredibly, Google Movie Times bills this as a 'comedy', and IMDb categorizes it as "Comedy, War". Please note: this is NOT a comedy. If you are going to see this, expecting many laugh-out-loud moments as only Tina Fey the comedian can bring them you are going to be sorely disappointed and let down. Sure, there are a few good chuckles early on as Baker/Fey adjusts to life in Afghanistan, but that's it. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" is a journalistic war drama, period. Not sure whether it is the producers or the studio who are pushing this as a 'comedy' but that is a grave mistake. Besides Fey and Robbie, there are many other fine performances, including Billy Bob Thornton in a small role as a Marine Corps General. Last but bot least, there is a lot of great music in the film, including the original score, courtesy of Nick "DeVotchKa" Urata, and also a bunch of song placements, such as Radiohead's "Nude", the National's "Green Gloves" and Harry Nillson's "Without You", which I will never listen to the same way again, seeing how it was used in this movie. Bottom line: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" is a fine movie, shouldered by Tina Fey NOT being funny. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" was released nationwide this weekend. The Sunday matinee screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was not attended well, I am sad to report. Apparently it underperformed elsewhere too, grossing only $7 million, far below expectations. That is a darn shame. I blame both the (intentional or not) mislabeling of this as a 'comedy' when it is nothing near that, and/or fatigue among US audiences on seeing movies about the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. Regardless, I enjoyed "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" a lot for what it is (journalistic war drama). If you have a chance to catch this, be it in theaters, on Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, I strongly encourage you to do so as this movie deserves a bigger audience. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Reviewed by Chrystine Lilley 3rd March, 2016

Tina Fey may Strike Gold in 2017!

I've just returned home from watching "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot." I don't know how to begin to explain how intelligent, perfectly paced, unpredictable and spot-on the film is. They got everything right. Tina Fey as "Kim Baker" deserves an Oscar. This is by far her best performance yet, but as with anything Tina Fey is attached to, you'll see nothing but excellence. She is stunningly brilliant in her journey from utterly green, sheltered, cube farming news writer to seasoned, battered, weary war correspondent. Martin Freeman was equally captivating as Scottish correspondent "Iain MacKelpie." His journey from jaded journalist to the realization that this life, as "Kim" says, "isn't normal", is just as engaging. The supporting characters fully flesh out their roles becoming very real characters that you know and understand, especially Christopher Abbott as "Fahim Ahmadzai," the driver. His farewell scene with Ms. Fey was beautifully touching and at the same time respectful of the cultural divide between US and Afgan etiquette. Evan Jonigkeit won the end of the film with his explanation of his own journey through losing his legs. "You embrace the suck; you move the f*ck forward." Oorah, Sir. Do not go into this film expecting a comedy. This is a dramatic portrayal of life as a war correspondent, with intelligent humor sprinkled throughout in equal measure to moments of terror. It hits every nerve and every note. It's extraordinary all around.