Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

My first two days of spring break have been interesting. Monday, my dog wiggled out of her collar while on a walk and I spent roughly three hours trying to track her down and get her to come back to me. Tonight, I watched Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

 

I’m not sure which night was worse.

 

There is very little to enjoy about this movie. Halfway through, I looked at my watch and lamented in agony because I was only 40 minutes into the movie when I felt like I’ve been there for 75. This is easily the most boring movie I’ve seen this year.

 

Tina Fey seemed like she was trying hard to act the entire time, but despite her best efforts, I found her character to be bland and unlikable. The story didn’t build up in a way that emphasized who she was as a person or why exactly I should care about her at all.

 

This may be due to the fact that this movie essentially wanted me to care about a bunch of dopey American reporters going to Afghanistan to hunt for interesting war stories by day, and then drink and dance and party by night. I hated the whole experience because I could not relate to the night scenes where a bunch of unlikable assholes drink and maybe have sex with each other, and then the day scenes where they are fishing for stories, most of the time when they set up a scene where we could see Tina Fey’s character discover something really interesting, they instead set up this stupid joke that’s not funny and then move to the next scene. It was all just a big waste.

 

There were two or three different times where they would repeat a joke that they told 5 minutes before in another scene, and I did not understand why.

There’s this part where a female reporter is explaining to Tina Fey that now that she’s in Afghanistan where there’s practically no women, she bumped herself up from like a 6 (out of 10) to a 9, and that she can sleep with whatever guy she wants, and then proceeds to ask if she can sleep with Fey’s bodyguards. How funny.

Then in the very next scene, the army commander (played by Billy Bob Thornton, because they dragged him into this mess) explains to Tina Fey that she doesn’t want her going “4-10-4”, explaining how now she went from America to Afghanistan, she went from a 4 to a 10. He then asks to her to make sure she doesn’t sleep with any of his soldiers. They used the same damn joke but just formatted differently. How freaking funny.

 

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There’s another bit where Fey’s shooting a machine gun and the Islamic President (played by Alfred Molina, because they dragged him into this mess) speaks to one of his aides and one of them mentions how she’d make a decent boy.

The very next scene, Fey is interviewing some highly respected Islamic man and the man jokes to the interpreter that if they put a turban on Fey, she’d make a great man. Holy crap, it was sheer agony.

 

Then there’s this bit where Tina Fey, after partying it up every night for two or so years after a good day of exploiting battle-ravaged Afghanistan, that she talks about how it’s important to respect Afghanistan as a country and report on the country with more dignity, and the whole thing felt so fake because the movie never had Fey’s character treat ANYTHING with dignity, much less the country of Afghanistan.

 

<minor spoiler> By the time things got serious, and one of the main characters gets kidnapped by the Taliban, I knew the movie was trying to get me to feel worried about that character, but all I could think was “I don’t care. I don’t care at all. In fact, I hope he dies… and I hope Tina Fey dies… and I hope I die because this movie is so God awful.”</minor spoiler>

 

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Martin Freeman is in this mess too, and they wasted him as well.

 

I guess it also wouldn’t hurt to mention that the soundtrack to this movie was dreadful.

 

This movie may have been decent if they just made the damn story cohesive, but the whole thing was just a jumbled mess. I don’t understand why they thought it was necessary to make everybody party animals that maybe sleep with each other. Considering this was about reporters in a massively unstable area, it would have been nice if they, I don’t know, had the reporters report about the unstable area. But instead we get Tina Fey and company hopping around from one boring scene to the next doing God-knows-what just to set up jokes that were largely unfunny. The halfway-decent performances from some of the actors and the few chuckles I got really weren’t worth sitting through the rest of this garbage, and I’m giving this movie a 3 out of 10.

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