Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)

Starring: Tina Fey, Martin Freeman and Margot Robbie

Directed by: Gelnn Ficarra and John Requa

Kim Baker is fed up of her humdrum life as a news copywriter and decides to take a leap of faith and go to Afghanistan as a war reporter. What was initially meant to be a three month stint turns into three years as she dives into the chaos of Kabul and it’s surrounding war torn areas.

Tina Fey is the highlight in what is quite a mediocre movie. Fey plays lead character Kim Baker who is somebody who is simply stuck in a rut. She leads a very uneventful life in New York as a news copywriter but after watching a news report from war torn Afghanistan she seems to find her calling. What is initially meant to be a three month stint in one of the worlds most unpredictable country’s she quickly adapts and can’t get enough of the adrenaline rush from being involved on the front line with the American troops and her stay turns into a lengthy three years. Tina Fey really shows that she’s not a one trick pony and can do something other than the comedic roles she usually portrays. While this movie is billed as a comedy there wasn’t much to laugh about as many of the jokes fell flat and really failed to hit their mark. In all honesty I would’ve enjoyed this movie more if it wasn’t trying so hard to add witty one liners and focused more on the drama of the story.

Tina Fey was joined by Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie and Billy Bob Thornton and out of the three supporting actors I felt that Margot Robbie was seriously misused. This movie was released at a time where Robbie was in high demand and I felt her character, Tanya Vanderpoel who was a rival news reporter of Kim, should’ve been given a more integral role. Martin Freeman was fairly decent as a Scottish freelance photographer and Tina Fey’s lover interest but I don’t understand why in a drama revolving around the Afghan War it necessary to include a romantic angle. The angle didn’t really add anything to either characters story and just like the forced comedy, took away from the real drama that was happening. While the story had some interest elements, for the most part it was rather uneventful and there was no clear message or path that the story was taking.

Overall, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was an ok movie and the performance of Tina Fey is definitely the highlight. With a greater focus on the drama of war as opposed to romance and comedy this movie could’ve been something a lot better.


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