Sunday, January 29, 2017

Netflix & Chill #4: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Watched On: Amazon Prime
Released: 2016
Starring: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman
Prime Rating: 3.7 out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Pick: Mine

I remembered seeing a preview for this a few months back and it looked like a decent 'fish out of water' adventure/comedy that seemed like it was worth a peek. Tina Fey hits more than she misses, so I made the suggestion to the Missus, she agreed and we spooled it up on Amazon Prime, hopped into our warm, comfy bed and got to watching this bad boy.

Fey stars as Kim Baker, a behind the scenes journalist who is bored with her career, has a boyfriend who travels too much and is ready to make a change- so when the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan on a three month assignment to cover Operation Enduring Freedom comes up, Baker jumps at the chance.

She arrives in Afghanistan and gets swept into the low budget compound where the international journalists live- making friends with the BBC reporter, Tanya (Margot Robbie) and meets a lecherous Scottish journalist named Iain (Martin Freeman.) She has a rough start, but eventually finds her groove- getting soldiers to open up to her on camera and taking risks to capture combat incidents on video- the commander of the marines (Billy Bob Thornton) assumes that she's a nuisance. Months of her assignment turn into years and soon, she catches her boyfriend cheating on her and dumps him. She eventually starts a new relationship with Iain.

The place starts to get to her though and she becomes more and more reckless- turning the fact that she's in a society that places women in very restricted gender roles to her advantage- mining the Attorney General of Afghanistan (who's interested in her) for information and gaining access to women in the village and finding out the real reason why the well the Americans keep building is constantly being destroyed. (The movie handled that part of it beautifully- Kim follows a woman into a room full of other women all of whom begin to raise their veils and then the shot cuts away to Kim walking back to the jeep to tell the General what's she has learned. It was a subtle but an incredibly respectful nod to the strictures of that society- you never once see the faces of any of the women in the village.)

Kim ends up going back to New York to argue for more resources, only to find out that her network is hiring Tanya, her BBC friend to take over from her. Meanwhile, Iain is kidnapped for ransom researching a story he was going to bring her in on and Kim flies home to try and find him. Using her sources, she arranges a rescue and then finally leaves Afghanistan for good.

Overall: This was a solid, entertaining movie with an excellent cast and a great story to boot. Tina Fey continues to charm is pretty much whatever movie that she's in, Martin Freeman pours on charm of his own to match her and Margot Robbie, Alfred Molina- everyone just works in this movie. I enjoyed the heck out of it. Me: *** out of 5, The Missus: **** out of 5

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