Whiskey Tango Foxtrot stars, Tina Fey (SNL, 30 Rock), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and is directed by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus).
Based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot tells the story of journalist Kim Baker (Fey) and the time she spent in Afghanistan.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is so far the hidden gem of 2016. It’s not perfect but no one is talking about this film, yet it’s pretty solid. I had no idea what this was about, all I knew was Tina Fey was in it and that was it. It ended up shocking me in a few ways and being a good watch, that you should really seek out.
Like I said, I knew Tina Fey was the lead and she is amazing in this film. We all know Fey is hilarious but in this, she showed just how incredible she is as an actress. It shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the list of comedic actors who are just as good or better, as dramatic performers. Fey plays the comedy great but the dramatic side she showed, floored me. According to IMDB, she’s not cast in anything for 2017 but I hope we see her take on more varied roles because Fey could become a top actress, outside of comedy. This is easily the best performance so far from an actress I’ve seen this year.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has a strong cast and including Fey another standout was Martin Freeman. He plays the romantic lead to Tina Fey and he’s wonderful. He and Fey have excellent chemistry and their romance works really well. It’s not a perfect relationship, they both make bad decisions but it felt real. You don’t realise it right away but the romance story is ultimately the emotional core of the film and it plays out much better than I expected.
The final cast member I want to mention is, Margot Robbie. Yesterday I reviewed The Legend of Tarzan (you can read that here), I was singing her praises then and again here. Like Fey, not only is she funny but also showed another side of herself. Robbie doesn’t shy away from the fact she’s obviously attractive but actually makes fun of it and embraces her looks. Her relationship with Fey in this film, at first is a fun one to watch and as it develops it gets more and more interesting.
Agendas in films can destroy a good one or give it another level of depth. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot pushes a feminist agenda but handled it correctly. It’s not so in your face, that it becomes annoying or overbearing and also doesn’t turn the film into a piece pushing how great women are and how much men suck. It’s balanced, just how it should be. That’s what I truly loved about this film, is that there are no perfect characters and they all make mistakes. It took a while to get into it but by the end of this film, the characters and story felt real.
Unfortunately the characters didn’t always feel that way. In the opening 15 to 20 minutes, I was not enjoying this film at all. I don’t know if it just took me a while to understand the tone and what they were going for but the humor and scenarios were not working for me. When Tina Fey first goes to Afghanistan the comedy felt awkward and wasn’t fitting the tone but again, maybe I didn’t grasp the dark comedy in the beginning. When I watch it again hopefully I’ll get right into the film immediately.
I liked the cast but Alfred Molina is horrible in this film for so many reasons. First of all he plays an Afghan, despite being a famous white actor but also his character is ridiculous. He’s so over the top and unrealistic, I don’t know what film he thought he was in but it wasn’t this one. I’m usually a big fan of his but he was miscast and completely missed the mark in this one.
Overall, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was a surprisingly, really enjoyable film. You’ll be surprised by how good Tina Fey is and you won’t be surprised that Margot Robbie is great. It’s funny, real and a positive film for women, that won’t drive you insane with an agenda.
Have you seen Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and what did you think of it?