“I feel like I’m way more chicken than Kim“. As the logic goes, the pursuit of either drugs or war reporting in this fashion leads nowhere good.
Kim Baker (Tina Fey) has the misfortune of being just the kind of journalist that her television network determines should be sent to Afghanistan: single and childless. Now, she can pull off a serious character.
In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Nicholas Braun portrays Tall Brian, left, and Tina Fey portrays Kim Baker in a scene from “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot“.
“If this movie had ended with me – and by “me” I mean my character – coming back to the States and getting married with a kid, after I had been overseas because I wanted to see the world and I wanted adventure, I would have been mad at that narrative”, she said. “Like we’re going to fix everything tonight.’ And also, like, ‘You’re all rich. Why are you yelling at me about corporate greed?’”
Still, stand-out performances come from Billy Bob Thornton as General Hollanek, who dishes hilarious colloquialisms, and Alfred Molina as Ali Massoud Sadiq, a government official and Kim’s “special friend”. Time to think carefully about where her life will take her next. The “Saturday Night Live” icon remains as amusing and smart as ever, and her timing just gets sharper, but the material here never seems quite worthy of her. Too bad, because it was high time she got a chance to show us she can act as well as wield wisecracks.
Tina Fey’s previous efforts at semi-dramatic roles, in mediocre, forgettable movies like Admission and This Is Where I Leave You, have failed to capture the sharpness of her best comedic work, but she finds a ideal middle ground between sarcasm and vulnerability in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle by American war correspondent Kim Barker. “That’s the formula: I’m observing something that’s true, and no one else has pointed this out yet”. The war and the local people are treated a bit like set dressing as our heroine finds love, fights for her work and eventually comes to her senses about it all – you half expect Fey to toss her camo helmet in the air with insouciance. Kim used to punch people in the face. “It’s not political, it’s not “Dr. Strangelove.’ It’s about a woman who is making a choice to blow up her existing life and go on this ‘adventure” – for lack of a better word”. Whether these elements have a basis in reality or not, WTF plays out as a Hollywood story and hits all the necessary beats that entails.
“Also, in the film Tina tends to run towards explosions”.