Kandahar Review

Kandahar gives us a familiar story that has us wondering what’s going to happen next to our two protagonists. The movie does not take long to get going and shows us why Gerard Butler is an action star in his own right.

The premise of the story is pretty simple. Gerard Butler plays Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative. After completing a mission of sabotaging an underground nuclear bunker he is given another mission. Tom just wants to get home in time to see his daughter graduate and cope with his impending divorce. During all of this, a female journalist is being fed information on the U.S. Army’s mission in this region. She is provided the files of the mission that Tom just completed and it is captured for having this information.

As much as he tries to reject this mission he is persuaded into taking it. It’s a simple mission and would be over in time for him to see his daughter walk across the stage. The man who gives Tom this mission is Roman Chalmers played by Travis Fimmel. Roman has hired a translator for Tom that will accompany him on this mission. His Afghan translator Mo, played by Navid Negahban, is not given the full information about the mission but is told he will just assist Tom with translation issues. The night before they are expected to leave their cover is blown and they are now on the run to get to a safe house in Kandahar.

Chasing Tom and Mo are members of the Taliban, Jihad, mercenaries, and the Middle East army. It seems that there is someone trying to catch them at every turn and Tom must use his military skills to keep him and Mo alive. This is where the story really takes off as we see the cat-and-mouse chase begin. Butler is no stranger to action movies and we see how comfortable he is during the car chases and shoot-outs. Butler is an underrated action star and hopefully, this movie will start putting more eyes on him.

Credit: Hopper Stone, SMPSP | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment

While there are a lot of action scenes in the movie, we do get moments where we see the inner turmoil in some of these characters. Tom is ready to give up this life just to be home with his daughter and watch her grow up. Mo is conflicted about getting help from a man whose army caused the death of his own son. Bahador Foladi, who plays Farzad, struggles with kidnapping the female journalist and hiding what he does from his wife and daughter. This is a side that we rarely see in these movies. Usually, every character’s morals are just black and white, their mentality is you are bad and I must kill you, but in Kandahar, some of these characters seem like they do not want to be involved in these atrocities anymore.

As I stated previously, Kandahar is a movie that we have seen a version of before. This story really pulls you in and makes you want the two men to get out alive. The action scenes in the movie are incredible and there is a scene shot in what looks like a night vision camera that really builds the tension. It’s hard to tell what is going on but the payoff is great! The movie does not feel like it is two hours due to the quick pace of the action pulling the story along. Kandahar is an intense ride to freedom that only Gerald Butler can accomplish.

Credit: Hopper Stone, SMPSP | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment

Final Thoughts: Kandahar is a movie we have seen before but that doesn’t mean it should not be watched. Everyone has something to lose in this chase and seeing the duality of those in pursuit is refreshing to explore. The dynamic action sequences are matched by the fantastic surroundings in this movie. I would have liked to have seen more of the journalist’s story play out.

Kid-Friendly: This movie is not for younger kids. The line between who is good and who is bad is blurred and might confuse younger kids. Although the story is about survival, it would be more geared for kids older kids 16 & up.

Violence: There is plenty of violence in this movie. From people being shot at, bombs exploding, and a torture sequence, Kandahar is not for younger kids.

Tom Harris (Gerard Butler), an undercover CIA operative, is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. After his mission is exposed, he 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.

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