‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Review

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ loses its footing mid-trot to a drastic tug of war between Tina Fey’s comedy past and dramatic present.

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ is a war-torn dramatic rom-com. It’s enough to leave you going W-T-F.

whiskey tango foxtrot
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

There’s a fine line between the truth and the sense of worth that it encompasses.

Sure, the honesty factor can bump up some sort of enthusiasm from a general audience. Yet, a story’s legitimacy should never stand independently as one’s strongest storytelling weapon. No matter the reality of Kim Barker’s journalist trek through war-torn Afghanistan, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot still remains (for lack of a better word) worthless.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF, for short) takes on the real-life adventures of war correspondent Kim Barker through the impressive acting abilities of female comedy guru Tina Fey. Fey embodies Barker’s genuine and eager sense of charisma as she spends up to three years in the violently opposing environment that her job entails. Nonetheless, she has the likes of her fellow international colleagues to help her get by (and even learn some new party tricks along the way), including journalist eye-candy Tanya Vanderpoel and the alluringly-witty Iain MacKelpie.

What turns viewers off from this hopeful war dramedy is that it’s unsure of itself from the get-go. The genre of WTF veers all over the cinematic map, turning the 111-minute result into a war-bound, suspense thriller of a rom-com with a sprinkling of indie feels. In other words, it can feel surprisingly unsettling at times, especially for a movie with such high-profile credits.

Some of those high profile credits include: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thorton, Alfred Molina and even the almighty Lorne Michaels. These names come with an evident foundation of expectations, and those are also the types of credits that make this big-screen blunder even more difficult to cope with.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is definitely an attempt at hitting the border genre of dramedy,” said Montclair State University freshman Kyle Murphy. “However, the movie never feels secure enough in either kind of footing to be a successful hybrid.”

That’s the overall problem with war comedies that try too hard to tell true stories. They lose that ever-so-coveted balance of humor and sincerity in the heat of the moment, losing their audience in the process. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot isn’t a complete waste of time in the sense that it’s always refreshing to see Tina Fey bring her pure charm to every character that she plays (including this one). Nevertheless, if you are looking to belly-laugh your way to the floor of your local cinema, then consider WTF too high-risk of a war zone.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is now playing! Some local theaters include AMC Clifton Commons 16, AMC Loews Wayne 14 and even Bow Tie Clairidge Theater in the heart of the downtown Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit fandango.com today.

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