Like any other military film based on a true story, this movie begins with a bang—literally—with the first scene containing a bomb explosion that grabs the audience’s attention right away, wondering how this movie would play out.
“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” or WTF in the NATO military phonetics, has a jam-packed cast of unlikely actors. With comedic genius Tina Fey, “Suicide Squad” actress Margot Robbie, and “Sherlock” star Martin Freeman, this film was like a war-zone romantic comedy—if that could even be a movie genre.
The film follows Fey’s character, Kim Baker, as she transfers to Afghanistan to be a reporter in the fairly new war in 2002. Through multiple cringe-worthy mistakes one could only make in a foreign country, andthe bravery she shows when her unit is under fire, the audience begins to fall in love with the quirky Baker.
As the movie progresses, it moves from 100 percent comedy to a serious war film with solemn scenes like droid bombings, IEDs and Taliban forces that are overlaid with humor.
Rather than feeling as if the humor made fun of these serious events, it was presented in a way showing that humor was an effective means for these people to cope with being in the middle of a war zone.
It is unclear if it was Hollywood’s way of portraying the film or if it was written in Baker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” but one of the reoccurring themes within the movie was women’s rights within this Middle Eastern country.
This theme was apparent when Fey’s character encountered a village of women who made a stand by blowing up a well because walking to the river for water was their only time to interact with one another. It can also be seen when the crew was reporting on a bombed girls’ school with “no education for women” in graffiti on the walls.
With a 7 out of 10 rating on IMBd, critics seem to have a love/hate relationship with the movie. Half of the online reviews from various news outlets love Tina Fey’s portrayal of Baker’s memoir and what it was like to be a new combat journalist high on adrenaline and looking for another story, while the other half of the critics despise how the Afghan people are portrayed in the film.
The movie was what an audience could expect it to be and a little bit more. It was entertaining, had a heart-warming ending and taught a little about what Afghan women went through during those years.
It would not be classified as a “run straight to the theater right now” type of movie, but it would make a fun night out or Red Box movie night.
This gets three out of four Jon Wallace heads.