Review: Whisky Tango Foxtrot
Sharing directing credit for this is Glenn Ficarra (Bad Santa, FOCUS) and John Requa (also Bad Santa and FOCUS). Now, I’ll tell you a little something. I didn’t know that these two had worked together before and I really didn’t know that they worked on so many projects together. They also worked on I Love You Phillip Morris the not-so-impressive-comedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewen McGregor as well as Cats and Dogs. Yea, and unless you’re a serious movie person–which I’m hoping you are– you’re probably reading this thinking, “What the hell? Those guys directed THOSE movies?” Yes……yes they did. And somehow, they keep getting projects. It’s almost like the Wachowski “siblings” all over again. They make ONE good movie and everyone keeps funding them. Either they’re the best pitch people in the whole wide world, or they have some serious leverage on people in Hollywood. I’d like to go on record and say that I enjoyed the hell out of Bad Santa and if they’re really gearing up for a second one, bring it on, but if they’re just going to do it because, hey, that’s what Hollywood does (ie Ghostbusters), then I could probably do without. But let’s talk about WTF shall well, that’s what we’re here for.
WTF starred a mess of people. And by mess, I mean some real “A” listers at this point. Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Alfred Molina–who (for the life of me) wasn’t really included in the trailers which I DON’T get–Billy Bob Thornton, and Martin Freeman (yes, Dr. Watson himself–hey, at least I didn’t refer to him as Bilbo). Seriously, this movie has some real star power behind it and the trailer was great, the story was interesting, the role was different but at times–it just didn’t feel like it was “on its way”.
Look, don’t get me wrong, if you watch any movies out there, you know ALL of the actors I just listed, but you might not like this movie. I did. I actually REALLY enjoyed it, but that being said, it felt like it didn’t really know which direction it wanted to go in. Was it a war biopic based on this woman Kim Baker life? Suuuure? I mean, it felt like that and it really forced its way into being a political drama (of sorts) and then all of a sudden there were incredibly funny parts that just screamed Tina Fey. Her dry wit and humor (or ability to MAKE something humorous) really came through at times and you could easily forget which direction they wanted to have this movie go in–but I enjoyed it.
Warning: BELOW BE SPOILERS
The supporting cast (if that’s what you want to call the group of “A” listers in this film) were all fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them develop this pseudo respect/relationship that they all had for each other. Martin Freeman who’s character becomes Tinas love interest, was brilliant and quite interesting to watch. To see the depth of a character portrayed a certain way and then have it changed half way through the film is just fun. Freeman does an excellent job of making his intentions clear and then showing what kind of person he really is with simple lines from the film like, “I know it’s a scam, but so what….he’s still begging.” That single line changed the entire dynamic and interactions for these two characters–and it worked.
There was also no shortage of brilliance delivered from Thornton, Robbie and Molina. All playing very pivotal roles in the film and having incredibly important moments. I guess maybe “brilliance” is a bit much when describing this, but they performed the roles that they were asked to–and they did it remarkably well–especially Molina.
So there it is Flicker Fans, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot doesn’t really ring true to the acronym that you’re used to. I’m assuming that I don’t really need to go into what “WTF” usually stands for when it comes to being texted to someone, or used any other way. Maybe it means something else to some of you, but for me it means what you’re expecting it to mean, and in this case, I like to think it means, “Wow Tina Fey”, that actually kicked a little bit of ass and worked. Thanks for making this enjoyable film.
Thanks Flicker Fans.