[Blu-Ray Review] Kandahar; Now Available From Universal

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Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Cast: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal

Release Date: July 18, 2023

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10


Tom Harris (Gerard Butler), an undercover CIA operative, is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. After his mission is exposed, he must fight his way out to an extraction point in Kandahar, all while protecting his Afghan translator, avoiding elite enemy forces and relentless foreign spies tasked with hunting them down.

Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

[Blu-Ray Review] Kandahar; Now Available From Universal 1

‘Kandahar’ accompanies Tom Harris (Butler), an undercover CIA operative whose dangerous mission in Afghanistan becomes exposed causing him to make a desperate run for safety; unfortunately that safety is hour-hundred miles away with dangerous terrain and unknown threats possible at every turn. Travelling along with his Afghan translator who has his own personal reasons for returning to his home, the two will have to find a way to move past their differences and opinions and learn to work together if they hope to stay alive long enough to stand any chance of reaching their intended destination and the escape to safety it promises.

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Greenland, Angel Has Fallen) from a screenplay written by first time screenwriter Mitchell LaFortune, Ric Roman Waugh does a solid job altogether at the helm of ‘Kandahar’ guiding along the tense and consistently entertaining ride throughout. The film’s cast includes Gerard Butler (Plane), Navid Negahban (TV’s The Cleaning Lady), Ali Fazal (Death on the Nile 2022), Bahador Foladi (TV’s Tehran), Nina Toussaint-White (TV’s Mammals), Vassilis Koukalani (The Lost Daughter), Mark Arnold (Wrath of Man), Corey Johnson (Morbius), Ravi Aujla (TV’s House of the Dragon), Ray Haratian (TV’s Invasion), Tom Rhys Harries (The Gentlemen) and Travis Fimmel (TV’s Vikings) with the majority offering generally solid or at least capable performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.

[Blu-Ray Review] Kandahar; Now Available From Universal 2

‘Kandahar’ is an entertaining, intense and frequently action-packed ride through dangerous terrain that accompanies a CIA operative and his Afghan translator who are forced to fight their way through hundreds of miles of enemy territory with threats possible and looming at nearly every turn after their mission is exposed initiating a full-blown manhunt with them as the targets. Much of the tale is done relatively well and it never fails to deliver one thrilling action sequence after another and keep the viewer consistently glued to the screen thanks to the action and explosive excitement that nary slows down as it progresses. The two leads are provided plenty of time for us to get familiar with them and care about where they end up and the heart and relationship that builds between them throughout is a great addition that keeps this war-set tale from becoming just blatant violence with nothing else to balance it. Unfortunately, the majority of the supporting characters on the other hand are largely relegated to irrelevant background roles that never receive a great deal of backstory or relatability which keeps the viewer from being too upset or affected when a few are killed off.

The events within often play out a bit too conveniently at times and as things get progressively more dangerous and uncertain throughout the journey it becomes increasingly more difficult to accept the methods and random events that tend to keep popping up or allowing them to escape certain doom which detracts from the tension and setting of the tale once we start to become convinced that these two are sure to get out without suffering any real consequences which can somewhat hard to swallow. Fortunately, the capable guidance of director Ric Roman Waugh and the nice performances by the key leads as well as plenty of visually splendid action sequences sprinkled throughout help this one to still be an awful lot of fun and almost never dull.

[Blu-Ray Review] Kandahar; Now Available From Universal 3

Overall, ‘Kandahar’ is a fast-paced, enjoyable and frequently tense ride through the heart of enemy territory that follows two men with different ideals that are forced to work together in order to find safety. With plenty of explosive action and a fair amount of heart around the edges, it may not be the next monumental war film but it certainly never fails to hold your attention and keep you invested throughout, with some capable performances to back it up. ‘Kandahar’ is recommended for anyone that’s a fan of Gerard Butler or that appreciates a capably made and consistently engaging war-like thriller about heroes stuck behind enemy lines and forced to fight their way to safety without any much needed assistance. If you’re already even mildly intrigued by this one and are interested in checking it out, it should at least prove worthy of your time and the cost of a rental to give a shot whenever you have the chance.

kandahar blu ray review


The Blu-ray release of ‘Kandahar’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great and fully capable, providing a clean, smooth and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish without any unexpected issues to be uncovered along the way. It shows sharp detail and clarity across the board from the beautiful views of the country and the expansive desert to character faces and other specific details which always look sharp and clean. It holds up nicely even during the few notably dark sequences throughout and never results in anything occurring onscreen becoming problematic. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation that does its job well and shouldn’t elicit any complaints from fans or first time viewers.


The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a sharp, crisp and frequently aggressive audio presentation throughout that immerses the viewer within the action and excitement while offering some additional tension and auditory effects to complement it all. It repeatedly utilizes all five available channels in order to send gunshots, explosions and resulting debris, along with helicopters and other vehicles swooping throughout the various speakers, along with plenty more and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or negatively affected in the process. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should easily satisfy viewers from start to finish.


The Blu-ray release of ‘Kandahar’ does not include any bonus content.

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*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.

Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10

‘Kandahar’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Open Road Films  & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

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