2003. After careful consideration, Kim Baker, a news copywriter, decides to leave the relative comfort of a New York desk job and serious boyfriend Chris to accept the assignment to work for three months as on-camera reporter in war torn Afghanistan, as her news agency is looking for anyone within their ranks to fill immediately the empty voids overseas. Her only experience of being in such an environment is going through hostile zone training a few years earlier. Immediately upon her arrival in Afghanistan, she realizes that she is ill-prepared emotionally for this assignment, not only enduring the dangers of the war itself, but also the conditions of everyday life, including largely been seen by men as only a "piece of ass" and a distraction despite her being considered average looking back home and not being overtly sexual, and being an individual with a small bladder who is nonetheless told to stay hydrated at all times. She is largely assisted in navigating this new life by Tanya...Written by
Bill Bobs character is promoted half way through the movie. When they first meet he was a Colonel, as seen by his collar device, which is an eagle. Later on in the film he promoted to Brigadier General, this is seen by the single star on his collar. See more »
I hope you got all that on film, ma'am,'cause that right there, that's what we do best. Hearts and minds: the two best places to shoot somebody.
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I'm not sure I've seen a military comedy since Sgt. Bilko. Or maybe it was Operation Dumbo Drop. Nonetheless, this is a post-9/11 world. We just don't have the same levity with war like we used to. Especially when it comes to the war in Afghanistan. It's just something we don't do. But maybe it's time. Apparently it's time.
And who better for the role than Tina Fey? She plays Kim Baker, an American war correspondent who is sent to Afghanistan for a few months. A few months turn into a few years and she becomes an expert on everything Middle East. But as her life back in the states fades further into the past, she's realizing that Afghanistan is now her new home. We see her make this transition. It's one that's subtle, but felt by the end.
Fey is perfect for the lead. I honestly can't imagine anyone else who can just be as funny without being over-the-top and unrealistic. She gives us her same quirky and witty humor, but the film carries a much darker David Fincher-type of tone.
The jokes are never rapid fire, but always well-deserved. It makes the film more real. And that realistic tone places us in the mindset of the characters a bit easier.
Not too much about this film is cliché. Predictable, maybe, but not really cliché. Perhaps you can credit the source material which it's adapted from--an autobiographical novel entitled The Taliban Shuffle.
What I'm most impressed with is the balance of genre. Although it's a military comedy, it never feels like the film is pushing or pulling for one or the other. It's symbiotically both.
There's nothing obviously wrong with this film, in my opinion. I guess it may have failed to solve that "so what?" question for me, but it's still an entertaining watch. Maybe not one I would want to necessarily own on DVD. But that's not to say I wouldn't watch it again.
Twizard Rating: 84
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