‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ follows the travels of journalist Kim Barker through Afghanistan and her various experiences. Going into this film i had no idea what type of film this was trying to be, from the trailer it looked like it was going for a dramatic take but also looked like it was going for a more comedic feel and i wasn’t sure what to expect. And after watching the film it was clear that this film didn’t know what it wanted to be. There were sections that showed a lot of potential to be a very good drama with some hard hitting topics to focus on, and sections that showed potential to be a decent comedy. But rather than focusing on only one of these overall tones it tries to juggle them both and well, it pretty much failed. Martin Freeman was by far the biggest highlight of the film contributing to the drama and comedy very well, and his chemistry with Tina Fey was a plus. In terms of comedy, there was some minor, light comedy here and there that was ok, but a lot of what Tina Fey went for didn’t quite hit.
So as i mentioned, the biggest fault here was that the overall tone and the focus of the film was a complete mess. The middle-ground they found between hard hitting Drama and laugh-out-loud Comedy had me…… i wouldn’t say bored, but rather disinterested with what was happening most of the time. A lot of the more personal focuses of the film on Kim Barker and her relationships with the people around her and her boyfriend back at home were actually quite engaging. Her interactions with characters played by Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, and Alfred Molina made for many scenes with interesting back and forth conversations. It was when they tried to delve into the documentation on the war in Afghanistan and all that stuff where the film just dragged and dragged. There were large chunks of the film that frustrated me because the film didn’t feel like it was going anywhere interesting, with not a lot going on.
Other than that i really don’t know what else to say about this film. There was some decent cinematography used at a few points which was nice, and the directing was quite decent. But the writing just didn’t provide enough content of any interest, the tonal focus of the film was a disaster, not quite reaching its dramatic potential and also not confident in relying on a completely comedic tone. I don’t know if i would particularly recommend this movie to anyone at all, it has a very odd focus where there are elements of serious subject matter and then you have scenes about drug use and sexual content. This is reflected in the box office, falling flat with only 24 million dollars on a 35 million dollar budget. With all the marketing they did for the film and with big names like Tina Fey and Martin Freeman, this should have done a lot more. Clearly, there wasn’t a clear focus as to who this movie was for… and they paid for it.