What happened, Barry Levinson?
“Rock the Kasbah” opens with Bill Murray going to Afghanistan with the USO. Once there, Zooey Deschanel rips him off and he has to use his wits to escape the war zone. Fortunately, he discovers the next great voice in a teenage Afghan girl that lives near a conflict zone. Murray’s character pleads to get her on Afghan Star, but it’s forbidden to have a woman on the show. Naturally, things get very meh.
While there are some jokes and strong supporting turns to be had, the film loses its purpose about 30 minutes in. The remainder of the film turns Bill Murray forcing his will on the conservative Afghans. It’s so bad that he uses a mercenary to help force him deeper into their graces. But, even that is played for laughs. Then, there’s the world that could exist after the film ends.
Bill Murray’s character tears into the Afghan lives like a force of nature. Then, he lives without worrying about the lives he impacted. But, the world that was built seems so superficial that I’m sure that our little Afghan teen star probably wasn’t stoned to death for singing in public. But, I’m an optimist like that. If you wait until after Halloween, this film will probably not be in theaters.
RELEASE DATE: 10/23/2015