Not at all what I expected. When a film has Tina Fey attached to it I expect laughs. This has some of those, but it is more a drama. Not a comedy. A film based on a true story, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot investigates (see what I did there? It is a film about a news reporter…) is being a female reporter in a war zone.
Not sure exactly which genre you could place this film in because there is a touch of everything here. You get some laughs, some drama, some political commentary, and some feminism. It does make you realize how war reporters lay their lives on the line in order to get stories from war zones. Beyond that you do get an idea of their lives as they do the work. How they deal with the stress (seems like a lot of partying goes on) and the relationships they forge while on the job.
With the network realizing that they need a reporter to go to Afghanistan to cover what is going on there despite the fact that it has been put on the back burner due to the war in Iraq. Because she is not married and does not have kids, her boss turns to Kim Baker (Tina Fey – from television’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). She hesitates as she has a boring but safe desk job as a news copywriter and a solid relationship with her boyfriend, Chris (Josh Charles – from television’s The Good Wife). Ultimately she decides to go to Afghanistan despite the fact that she has no experience in war zone reporting.
As soon as she arrives it is a fish out of water scenario. Culture shock to say the least. With the help of fellow female reporter Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie – I, Tonya, Suicide Squad) and her interpreter Fahim (Chrisopher Abbott – from television’s Girls), she adapts quickly. Actually more than adapting, she begins to crave the rush of what she is doing. The danger of it all. Plus, after finding out Chris cheated on her, she begins a relationship with another reporter, Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman – from television’s Sherlock). Kim is completely addicted to the high of getting the story.
Now, what was supposed to be a few months has turned into a few years. Kim is firmly entrenched as the network’s expert in the area. She has made plenty of contacts including with the powerful Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina – The Pink Panther 2, An Education), who also is attracted to her. Life back home in the U.S. seems far away now.
We all know how witty/funny Tina Fey is. We all know she is intelligent. With this film, now we all know that she is fully capable of being a dramatic actress. She does get to deliver some wickedly funny lines, but also seems completely at ease and realistic in the more dramatic moments. Should open the door for her to play more serious roles…while not abandoning comedy.
Entertaining and informative. While it is a little predictable it never falls into cliche. Most impressive is how it balances all the genres it delves into. Very little pushing or pulling is felt.
-All In: The Making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
-War Reporter: The Real Kim
-Embedded in Reality