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WMD's - Kandahar (2023) - Review

After his mission is exposed, an undercover CIA operative stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan must fight his way out, alongside his Afghan translator, to an extraction point in Kandahar, all whilst avoiding elite enemy forces and foreign spies tasked with hunting them down.

As a self-proclaimed movie aficionado, I often find myself drawn to political thrillers. So, when I heard about "Kandahar," a new film set in the hostile territory of Afghanistan, I was eager to delve into its intricate plot. Starring Tom Rhys Harries, Farhad Bagheri, and Gerard Butler, the movie promised a high-stakes journey through enemy forces and foreign spies. However, while it had its moments, "Kandahar" left me with mixed feelings.

One aspect that stood out was the complex political landscape depicted in the film. Given the numerous warring factions in Afghanistan, it's no surprise that at times, the politics became hard to follow. The intricate web of alliances and betrayals left me grappling to understand the motivations behind certain characters' actions.

Moreover, I was surprised to find Gerard Butler in a role that diverged from his usual action-packed performances. In "Kandahar," his portrayal was more subdued, showcasing his versatility as an actor. While this change of pace was refreshing, it's worth noting that the advertising may have misled audiences expecting a typical Butler-style action flick. The true action sequences were saved for the latter part of the film, making the initial buildup feel somewhat slow-paced.

One area where "Kandahar" fell short was in providing a deeper understanding of Afghan culture to Western viewers. Afghanistan's rich heritage and intricate societal dynamics were reduced to mere backdrops for the story. As a result, the movie missed an opportunity to bridge cultural gaps and shed light on the complexities of the region.

Furthermore, the film seemed to have an underlying message about American intervention. While it's important to explore different perspectives, the occasional moments of preaching felt heavy-handed and detracted from the overall narrative.

On a personal note, "Kandahar" left me grateful for the peaceful life I enjoy in Canada. It served as a stark reminder of how the endless wars in regions like Afghanistan tear apart the lives of innocent people caught in the crossfire.

In conclusion, "Kandahar" is a gritty political thriller that delivers tense moments and showcases Gerard Butler's range as an actor. However, its convoluted politics, misleading advertising, and lack of cultural depth prevent it from reaching its full potential. Despite its flaws, the film serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating consequences of prolonged conflict.


Ranking 7.1/10

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