Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
** out of four
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a tailor-made vehicle for Tina Fey but this comedy/drama about a war reporter plays it far too safe for the film to actually have a bite to it. The drama isn't very stirring and the comedy is just plain mild. That's a shame, because with Fey at the wheel, this had the potential of being an irreverent war time comedy in the tradition of Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, but the filmmakers here didn't want in any way to offend the masses.
This movie is based on the book, "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan" by real-life war correspondent Kim Barker. The always likable Fey plays Barker as she covers the war in Afghanistan. We see the character contend with rivals (Margot Robbie) and romance (Martin Freeman) as she faces the potential of death while covering stories. The best scenes are the ones between Billy Bob Thornton, as a grizzled General, and Fey. They have an easy chemistry together, but their scenes together are few and far between.
There is a big dramatic military rescue scene near the end but it comes off as goofy because it is accompanied by the Harry Nilson version of the annoying and syrupy ballad “Without You.” They should have went with a better song or simply a dramatic score.
Now don’t get me wrong, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is completely watchable, but it has no edge and will be quickly forgotten.