Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – A Movie Review

I do believe this could be my first movie review – and for a Tina Fey movie no less. However, I guess I had to – because I was surprised. I thought WTF was gonna be a stupid movie about debauchery in US administered Afghanistan. Sex, drugs, drinking – murder and mayhem. We all know the story. Will Farrell and Seth Rogen. Stupidity.

So I’ll be honest, I was taken aback. Because I don’t really like Tina Fey – the SNL crowd annoys me. And because Hollywood’s portrayal of our foreign entanglements are usually self-serving and amateurish. Without nuance. Preachy. Boring.

All to say, I was skeptical. Evacuated from Mali – where an Al Qaida attack threw us out of the country. And on our way to Nigeria – my wife wanted to see this movie. I acquiesced. I’m glad I did. Because Tina Fey was – wait for it – good. Which is why I’m writing this, I suppose.

The movie is about occupied Afghanistan, which was a mess – as everybody knows. But I reject the “Hangover” style portrayal of our foreign adventures. What we do – attempting to liberate people from the darkness – fighting our enemies – is not a subject either for mockery or for the “Three Cups of Tea” melodramatic asinine self-congratulatory b$*%-s#@*. People’s lives; Afghans, Americans, Brits, Aussies, Pakistanis and so many others. It defined a generation – that war. My generation.

And I’m writing this because it’s what I do. Not the “three years on the front lines” war correspondent, grandiloquent story about how important reporters are and how bad the US government is. But real work, the hard work – not trying to tell the story, but actually writing the story. Doing the work. Building our place in a world that is – frankly a mess. And I’m writing this because I’ve been doing this work for twenty years. Pakistan, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, DR Congo, Mali, Uganda – etc. Decades, and no movie. Not that I’m bitter – it’s just that, well I’d love a movie; Tina Fey has a nice apartment, why not me? But alas – it might never be…

Nevertheless – I am glad for this movie. It provided my wife and I a nice moment on a crisp afternoon in Colorado Springs; and we needed a nice afternoon. The gunfire still ringing in our years, it’s nice to know that we are thought of. And the movie honored our work – which surprised me.

So – all that to say, go see this movie. If you’re interested in our role in bizarre places so far away. You’ll be better for it.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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4 Responses to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – A Movie Review

  1. Tim francis says:

    Joel, thanks. I’ll go see it. I’ve spent 15 years as a reservist, sometimes mobilized, sometimes just on orders, in far off dusty places. Not as much as you, but enough that you’re not the same. Appreciate your work, and thank you for it.


  2. Jane says:

    I will right away clutch your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or
    e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me understand so that I may just subscribe.


  3. Pingback: MOVIE REVIEW | Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) – Bored and Dangerous

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