Nearly Flawless, 9 out of 10 for Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels
Wow. If I wasn't already a fan of Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey, I sure am now. The same barbed wit is evident throughout Whiskey, Tengo Foxtrot (military acronym for What the F***), but this isn't a skit. Tina Fey portrays a nuanced character, a low level employee of a network news department who makes an impulsive career move and ends up as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. Doesn't sound entertaining? It probably wouldn't be without the amazing touch Fey puts on her character. While it's not a war movie, it certainly captures the hopelessness of a culture doomed to perpetual war in the arm pit of the world. Afghanistan ultimately gets dismissed as a place undeserving of American military support, or even interest. The people shoot each other and blow each other up in conflict over interpretations of their medieval religion, and the movie correctly concludes "who cares"? But the Americans and individual Afghanis touch each others lives in ways that transcend cynicism. Fey and her Saturday Night Live co-producer Lorne Michaels find humor and humanity in ways that make you root for all the characters. The movie has no dull moments, and the pacing keeps you in your seat. Like Afghanistan itself, there were potential landmines of preachiness, boring politics and hopelessness...and WTF avoids them all. There are subtle, brilliant, and stereotype breaking supporting roles by Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, (Spiderman 2), Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) and Martin Freeman (whose correspondent character is as far from Bilbo Baggins as Kabul is from New York.) Three cheers for Tina Fey, who manages to give us entertainment and a smile while showing us how lucky we are to be Americans. WTF could have been boring and preachy, and instead gives us a feel good movie from the most unlikely place on earth.
- Jun 24, 2016
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