In theaters this Friday from directors Glenn Ficarra, John Requa and Paramount Pictures comes a story based on the book by Kim Baker with “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”
Kim Baker (Tina Fey) works for a news service sitting behind a desk. When the opportunity comes to shake up her life, she is assigned to Kabul, Afghanistan to cover stories about stories of interest. Immediately after landing, Kim begins to doubt that she can fit in until she is introduced to Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) who takes Kim under her wing and introduces her to her new environment.
She is assigned driver Fahim (Christopher Abbott) who has connections and introduces Kim to Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) who immediately shows signs of having a crush on her. With the help of the military including General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton), Kim embeds and takes the initiative to find the stories in the middle of the war.
When Kim discovers her boyfriend is cheating, she decides it is time to let loose and that’s when an unlikely relationship with photographer Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman) begins. When Kim’s network begins rejecting her stories, she takes matters into her own hands and discovers that the one person she has come to rely on has another agenda.
With each risk she takes to get the story, the more other are worried about how she is handling herself. But when Iain is kidnapped, Kim becomes stronger that everyone imagined.
Fey as Kim jumps into this role and gives a solid and serious performance. Even with moments of humor, Fey is delightful to watch. I enjoyed watching her create a little mischief and portray Kim as a strong woman who is proving her worth to herself. The relationships she creates are with people who truly care and, to be honest, who wouldn’t care about Fey!
Freeman as Iain just threw me for a loop. First of all I have a weakness for Irishmen so his accent really got to me. More importantly, I didn’t see his other characters mixing in here. It was an awesome shock and I thoroughly loved him in this role. He gave a sharpness and humor along with snappy wit that just made me love this character and Freeman even more.
Robbie as Vanderpoel seems to fit right into the action in Afghanistan. She also knows the people and how to have a good time in the middle of a war AND being a woman. Molina as Sadiq is so creepy I can’t even stand it.
Abbott as Fahim is a man who is true to his people and deeply cares about Kim. Wanting to help her get the stories, he also sees the trouble that she is creating for herself by not listening to those who know better. Just a lovely character.
Thornton as Hollanek cracked me up totally. Yes, he is a strong military man who is doing his job, but there are moments with Fey where I can’t wait to hear what he is going to say next. Strong and silent type in this character and Thornton does it well.
Other cast include: Nicholas Braun as Tall Brian, Stephen Peacocke as Nic, Sheila Vand as Shakira Khar, Evan Jonigkeit as Specialist Coughlin, Fahim Anwar as Jaweed, Josh Charles as Chris, Scott Takeda as Ed Faber, Eli Goodman as Tucker Wang and Cherry Jones as Geri Taub.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” four tubs of popcorn out of five. First of all I’m sure the first thing that will be asked is what is “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” – well, that’s WTF right? It’s actually a perfect title for the film. There are a few times I think I said that to myself during the film! Fey gives a fantastic performance playing this character with depth, fun, a little craziness and thoughtfulness.
In 2011 Kim Baker wrote “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan” which is the memoir of her time in Afghanistan.
In the end — the world and war is bigger than she ever imagined.