Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Tina Fey is wonderful in this adaptation of the book The Taliban Shuffle
by Kim Barker, which I read beforehand in preparation for the movie, about a war correspondent in Kabul.
The movie unfortunately loses much of the nuance and gallows humor of the book (including cutting Pakistan out entirely to focus on Afghanistan), while also failing to show the evolution of Afghanistan and how foreign intervention into the country has caused untold damage without producing any positive results. However, it does capture the humanity of the Afghan people, the callousness and shallow nature of media companies, and how being in a warzone can cause adrenaline junkies.
Fey really shines in her role (as Kim Baker, instead of Barker), instantly charming and helming the intelligent social commentaries. And yay, Martin Freeman has a big role—third billing and the romantic lead, as such. He dons an over-the-top Scottish accent (!) to play a flirtatious asshole character, Iain MacKelpie, who is morally grey, like many of the other war correspondents in the movie.
Another standout for me was Christopher Abbott as Kim’s translator, Fahim Ahmadzai. While it is depressing that an Afghan was not cast in the role, Abbott did bring out the spirit of the character from the books. And Billy Bob Thornton and Margot Robbie slip naturally into their roles as a U.S. Marine general and fellow war correspondent, respectively.
So even though it can’t match the book, I’d definitely recommended the movie!
More reviews of Martin Freeman’s work: here