it’s the director’s latest (angel has fallen, greenland), starring regular collaborator , along with Travis Fimmel, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal and Bahador Foladi in an action drama that lacks imagination. Scripted by Mitchell LaFortune, this particular type of story often suffers from narrative uniformity: Westerner travels to the Middle East, things go off the rails, Westerner saves the day, the ending.
The story begins in Iran with Tom Harris (Butler) and his partner Oliver (Tom Rhys Harries) working on wiring at a nuclear power plant center. This cover is for dropping a bomb only. The two are surrounded by guards who are suspicious of their intentions, but Harris de-escalates the situation and they manage to escape. His partner is concerned that the military is investigating them as CIA spies. Things are going well until their cover is blown by a reporter trying to run a story about what the CIA is doing in the Middle East, and now they must go into hiding while the nuclear plant explodes.
Meanwhile, in Herat, Afghanistan, Mo (Negahban) goes to work as a translator and takes orders from Roman (Fimmel), a CIA liaison in the United Arab Emirates, where he meets Harris. Even though the CIA agent is on the run, Roman asks for a more short-term job destroying another power plant, to which Harris says yes for some reason. This is when he hooks up with Mo, and the pair have a limited amount of time to finish the job before they are found out and killed before they get home.
You know, there’s an interesting subplot where Mo searches for his sister, who was a teacher kidnapped by the Taliban and hasn’t been heard from since. That’s a mystery worth investing in, not whatever Kandahar is. Stories about the West at war with browns peaked with Kathryn Bigelow’s. zero thirty dark (Although I also enjoyed Nicolai Fuglsig 12 strong). Maybe there’s something about chronicling history based on real events that has something about these made-up Western savior narratives that have nothing going for them except being drab, xenophobic, and utterly boring.
Is Gerard Butler trying to take the crown from Liam Neeson as the scruffy older man willing to fight for truth, justice and the Western way? by Zack Snyder 300 it’s his most notable role to date, but Butler also appears to be following the same trajectory as Neelson, starring in one action series after another with similar storylines and one-note performances. Then again, I can’t blame him for tapping into a long-established genre.
I promise I have nothing against these types of movies. I do not agree that many of them are not worth seeing. For Kandahar to be called an action movie, there must be action. Look, there’s not much more to say about it, except that it will induce so much eye-rolling that you might see your brain stem in the process because watching the entire 2-hour runtime is your own hostage situation.
Release date: May 26, 2023
Distributor: open road movies
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Screenwriters: mitchell lafortuna
Cast: Gerard Butler, Travis Fimmel, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal and Bahador Foladi
Execution time: 120 minutes