A TV journalist up ends her life to become a war correspondent in Afghanistan.
Based on a true story recounted by journalist Kim Barker in her 2011 book The Taliban Shuffle, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a showcase for the charismatic talents of Tina Fey.
She’s perfect for the role, capable of playing the jaded journalist and selling the unique thrill of being behind enemy lines. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s one of the funniest females in the business.
John Requa and Glenn Ficarra’s film wisely leans on Fey for most of its energy and gives her a rare chance to flex those dramatic muscles as well as she shows the strange lure of ever present danger.
The film itself is good fun, with a lively pace and supporting players who are mostly very watchable. Highlights are Martin Freeman’s salacious Scot, a laconic Billy Bob Thornton and the ever helpful Christopher Abbot.
Margot Robbie, reteaming with the directors after Focus, fares less well. Mostly that’s because her English accent has a touch too much of her native Aussie and she doesn’t add much to the narrative.
This is a glimpse at a world which few of us will ever see and fewer still understand – the daily dangers and nightly revelry of people covering horrific violence on the frontlines. It’s an interesting setting for a feature but the film refuses to delve too deep.
Overall, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is an entertaining picture with a unique perspective on wartime coverage and a terrific central performance from Fey. The laughs are fairly plentiful, even if the end result rings a little hollow.
- Daniel Anderson