Title: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa Year: 2016 Run time: 1hr 52m
“Tina Fey stars in this wickedly entertaining comedy about finding yourself in the most unlikely of places. Stuck in a rut, reporter Kim Baker (Fey) decides to shake things up by leaving her desk job in New York and taking a dangerous assignment in Afghanistan. Far from home and completely out of her comfort zone, a culture-shocked Kim befriends an adventurous reporter Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie), a stern Colonel (Billy Bob Thornton), and a charming photojournalist (Martin Freeman) to help her navigate this crazy new world. Amidst the chaos, Kim discovers her true strength as she risks it all to find the next big story.”
0:50 – Any film that starts with Jump Around is almost certainly five out of five. 3:52 – I know this is not the point of the scene, but epic wine glass envy. 4:47 – You have to choose your goodbye carefully, not channeling the Terminator! 6:51 – That would be so me, losing my money on my first day, 11:36 – “It’s called Kabul-cute.” 12:44 – Bonus Billy Bob! 15:49 – It’s so windy! I don’t think I could cope. 18:01 – “Even the Dutch army don’t wear orange.” 27:08 – Tim from The Office is Scottish in this one, crikey. 33:28 – Alfred Molina too? So many famous faces in this one! 36:12 – Warlord, businessman, potato, potahto. 42:11 – God, the one foot in front of the other thing is mind-blowing. 49:22 – Argh, when women drivers don’t do well! 52:39 – The blue prison. 58:53 – Fahim is lovely. 1:09:20 – She’s using his Celtic scarf as a headscarf! 1:10:24 – Drone strike, that’s a different film. 1:15:08 – Jump around! 1:22:00 – That thing when you think you’ll be back in three months but you’re actually gone three years. 1:29:27 – “What can I get for you? Tea? The new Playstation?” 1:33:36 – Incredz use of music.
Ahead of this film, Mr C and I made a bet wherein I said it would have a scene stacked with emotion and meaning that makes us tearful, and he said it wouldn’t because it’s a comedy. It turns out we were both right, but also both wrong.
This film sort of doesn’t fit in anywhere. It’s not an all-out comedy. It’s not a dramatically moving piece. It’s not an indie effort, and it doesn’t look so incredible that it can rely on beauty rather than story. Somehow, it inhabits an uncomfortable area that doesn’t really have a genre, and yet it was still really interesting.
The cast were brilliant, regardless of what accent they were trying to do. Tina Fey did nothing to dent my love for her. Margot, Tim, Alfred and Billy Bob all added to the story. But it was the others who made it - Fahim being a particular favourite, but also the guy that needed to learn about internet histories, and the lovely friend who criticised Tina’s story.
Of the story, there were two things I found fascinating that I had never considered before: Firstly, when she mentioned at the end that she had to get out because all the bizarre things that were happening had started to seem normal, that made me think. And also, that war reporters struggle with the same kind of adrenaline rush as people who do live events, gigs, concerts, all that kind of thing, do, but no one really knows about it. They were partying their lives away to get rid of the adrenaline, who knew that was a side effect of that particular job?
A difficult film to describe, but worth a watch for some of the topics raised within.