Skip to main content

Robin's 'F**k Batman' Titans Trailer

Movie Review: 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot'

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is pure WTF.

Review by Matt Cummings

For Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, one might look at the title and automatically pick up the 'WTF' reference. But for most of this slow-moving, almost painful to watch dramedy, one might use the same phrase to describe their experience as they try to figure out how they got cajoled into spending good money on a film that doesn't know what it is.

Serving as a producer for powder-puff stories at a NY television station, journalist Kim Baker (Tina Fey) needs a change and soon. A single forty-something with no children, she volunteers to cover the 2004 war in Afghanistan in a desperate effort to get noticed by a studio. Bidding a farewell to her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend (Josh Charles), Baker comes face to face with the war and struggles to steer clear of it. Her desire for the next big story sees Kim and other journalists like Tanya (Margot Robbie) and Iain (Martin Freeman) taking unwise risks that equate to looking for the next high. Drawn in by her desire to tell the real story behind the war, but unable to steer clear of its dangers, Kim must balance between the high risk/reward of her job and the worry that she's becoming consumed by it.

Based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot tries to make a statement about war, money, sex, and job security, doing none of them particularly well. Blame that on Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who can't get the tone of this thing nailed down: one minute it's hilarious political comedy, the next it's a super serious message about thrill seekers who happen to cover the news. Fey emerges from the wreckage in the best shape, proving she can handle a little dramedy better than she did in 2014's frankly disgusting Admission. There, she played a thoroughly unlikable college recruiter who's just a tad higher up on the food chain in WTF than she was in that mess. We laugh with her through the adventures, but never appreciate her work ethic or empathize with her wish for a more successful life.

The connections to Admission are startling when you expand the circle to include Freeman and Robbie. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot features a slew of unlikable characters whose ulterior motives include partying, screwing (sometimes each other for a story), and in general behaving like frat students in a nation that doesn't trust them. Sadly, we don't really get what WTF is supposed to be, settling for generic cynical and dark without showing us the true shadows. There is a story to be told here about the personal dangers of covering big news, another about the money behind war, and perhaps a trio of others; but the default result is romantic comedy that really isn't very funny. Moreover, the climactic ending where US Marines rescue a journalist - who's again searching for that big high - comes off like a waste of taxpayer dollars that doesn't serve the story one bit.

I will say that Alfred Molina - who plays an overly amorous Afghani Prime Minister - is hilarious throughout, giving Fey a run for her money. He makes Whiskey Tango Foxtrot a bit more bearable. But that isn't saying much when every character (including his) has their intentions broadcast from a mile away. I found myself wondering if some higher-up who saw potential dollar signs instead of critical praise steamrolled this snoozer away from its intended path. It happens in film more often than you think, and in WTF's case it happens early and continually lets us down right when we're ready to give it a chance again.

There's several potentially biting storylines within Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, but Ficarra and Requa just can't draw them out. Fey turns in a great performance, but you'll be so bored to tears to care about her or whether American interests are best served overseas. With so many appealing alternatives out there - including some of the best television drama ever - this one is definitely FUBAR.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, drug use and violent war images and has a runtime of 112 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: #MissSloane

The political drama Miss Sloane fails to lobby us into Oscar territory.
Review by Matt Cummings
In a time when women were supposed to be leading our country, Miss Sloane arrives to remind us of what could have been. Unfortunately, this message about a headstrong female Washington lobbyist loses us early with an unappealing director, a paper-thin plot, and suffers from a ton of convenient realism. If the good (but not impressive) performances weren't there to buffer these and many other gaps, we might have found ourselves voting for impeachment.

For Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), life is about getting her clients what they want from the halls of Congress. Her boss Dupont (Sam Waterston) will sleep with NRA types, fudge travel records, and bully smaller firms into submission if it means a hearty paycheck at day's end. But when Sloane leaves the company to push Gun Control legislation with one of those smaller firms, Dupont turns to his bulldog Co…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See WARCRAFT In Dallas

Enter for a chance to see WARCRAFT on June 7th at 7:00 PM in Dallas.

From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment's global phenomenon.


The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.


Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu is a Legendary Pic…

Bethany Ashton Wolf¹s FOREVER MY GIRL ACQUIRED BY @roadsidetweets

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment partner for their 7th collaboration with Roadside’s domestic distribution acquisition of Bethany Ashton Wolf’s uplifting family romance Forever My Girl, it was jointly announced today by Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff, and Mickey Liddell of LD Entertainment. Forever My Girl will be released wide in theaters on October 27, 2017.

The two companies previously collaborated on numerous films including multiple Academy Award® nominee …