- Published: Friday, 26 May 2023 13:50
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Gerard Butler is back in action mode for his new thriller, KANDAHAR. As expected, Butler delivers on the entertainment, even if it repeats his greatest hits.
Butler plays Tom Harris, a CIA operative and former MI6 agent on the run from the Taliban government and a foreign agent with his Afghan translator after his identity is exposed by the media. He must get to the CIA Kandahar base at all costs.
Navid Negahban (ALADDIN live-action, Homeland) plays the translator, and Travis Fimmel (Vikings, WARCRAFT movie) is the CIA operative who contracts Tom for a mission. Well-known actor and model Ali Fazal from India rounds out the cast as a foreign agent chasing the fugitives.
Butler teams up once again with director Ric Roman Waugh (ANGEL HAS FALLEN, GREENLAND), and both have the action movie formula down to a science. There's plenty of gunplay and explosions for the action junkies, but more importantly, the main characters are well-rounded and interesting. We learn enough about Harris to care about his safety, and the same goes for his translator. The Middle Eastern villains are not one-dimensional. The Taliban commander chasing Tom is portrayed as a family man, and Fazal's character is an agent straddling the modern world and his Muslim culture.
KANDAHAR's plot is similar to Guy Ritchie's THE COVENANT starring Jake Gyllenhaal and a scene-stealing performance by actor Dar Salim as an Afghan translator. However, the translator is the hero in the Ritchie story. The two movies would make a great double feature.
Gerard Butler's action movies must rake in the money given that the actor/producer has a steady stream of action movies every year. Although the films are released theatrically, the VOD market is perhaps the most lucrative portion. Butler knows what works and he plays to his strengths in these movies.
The pacing is slow at the onset but halfway is when the intensity ramps up. So if you've enjoyed Butler's last few movies, expect more of the same in KANDAHAR which is now playing in movie theaters.
Directed By: Ric Roman Waugh
Written By: Mitchell LaFortune, Ric Roman Waugh
Starring: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Travis Fimmel, Elnaaz Norouzi, Bahador Foladi
Produced By: Basil Iwanyk, Brendon Boyea, Erica Lee, Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel,
Christian Mercuri, Ali Jaafar, Scott LaStaiti