Director(s): Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Cast: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray & DVD June 28, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
A satirical take on combat journalists and an illuminating story of self-discovery, the film follows Kim (Fey) as she decides to shake things up by taking a dangerous assignment in Afghanistan. There, in the midst of chaos, Kim discovers her true strength as she risks it all to find the next big story.
Based on the true story, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ takes a more comical approach to the material as it follows journalist Kim Baker (Fey) through the course of her bold choice to serve as a war reporter covering wartime events front and center from within Afghanistan. Determined to prove herself, Kim takes the cultural rules and way of a life with a grain of a salt, putting herself (and a few others) in one troublesome and dangerous situation after another as she refuses to relent until she finally acquires that big break she has been so desperately searching for.
Directed by the talented duo of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa who previously directed such wonderful outings together as ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ and last year’s ‘Focus’ and the two deliver yet again at the helm of ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ guiding a script by Robert Carlock (TV’s Friends, 30 Rock) which was based upon the novel “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan” written by Kim Barker (the real life inspiration for Tina Fey’s character). The film also owes a large share of the credit to the talented folks who comprise the cast including Tina Fey (TV’s 30 Rock), Margot Robbie (Focus), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) and Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa) along with a number more, the majority of which are nearly perfect selections and deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ is a surprisingly wonderful film that is constantly brimming with heart and plenty of hilarious and colorful moments around every turn, and the result is one incredibly fun ride from start to finish. The film’s biggest strength is its uncanny ability to find a perfect middle ground in which to tackle such important subject matter with a comedic approach, operating simultaneously as a parody of the events, while never forsaking their heart and importance, nor shying away from some of the more gruesome aspects that come along with being in a place such as this and during such an incredibly dangerous time. Guided with talented care by talented directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and featuring spectacularly fitting performances by Tina Fey, Martin Freeman and more, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ is one wild and hilarious ride you won’t want to miss out on.
Overall, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ is a hilarious and consistently enjoyable film that provides nonstop laughs in addition to some real heart and manages to find the perfect middle ground where it’s able to treat the painful subject matter satirically, while always managing to remain faithful to the dangerous reality of the situation at hand. I would highly recommend giving ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ a shot even if you may be initially hesitant to do so; it’s a fantastic and ridiculously funny film that is only improved upon by a number of outstanding performances and the capable guidance of the directors.
The Blu-ray release of ’Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding for the most part, delivering a nearly flawless video presentation from start to finish that holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a gorgeous high definition video presentation complimented by a more than adequate bitrate that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds phenomenal and provides a crisp, clean and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout. Constantly utilizing all seven available channels in order to send a plethora of activity throughout the various speakers including everything from blaring music, explosions, gunfire, crowd activity and a great deal more, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic and hard hitting DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ’Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ includes a number of worthwhile extras. Included on the release are a few ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 10 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a number of behind the scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life as well as the true events it was based upon, featuring behind the scenes footage, plus interviews/comments with the cast, crew and the real life Kim Barker. The included Featurettes are: ‘All In: The Making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘War Reporter: The Real Kim’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘Embedded in Reality’ (6 minutes), ‘Wedding Party’ (6 minutes) and ‘Laughing Matters’ (4 minutes).