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review by Bobby Blakey

Director Ric Roman Waugh has an impressive filmography with action flicks such as Snitch, Shot Caller, Angel Has Fallen and Greenland in his resume and the upcoming Cliffhanger with Stallone in his future. His latest film Kandahar has him reteaming with Gerard Butler for a third time and also stars Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Travis Fimmel, and Elnaaz Norouzi. Will this film bring more same success as their previous outings or will it be a mission that they just can’t complete?

Kandahar follows Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative, who 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.

I didn’t know if we were going full action or more spy espionage thriller kind of thing and the truth is both. It is more focused on the human aspect instead of the action, but still brings plenty of it to the table. The heart of this whole film is just seeing how all these people are dealing with these circumstances that some are forced to be a part or and others need it. If works really well and keeps the intensity going even when the pacing is a bit slower by design.

Butler is perfectly cast here bringing that rugged exterior, but real everyman feel to the role. He is flawed and lost in trying to do what he knows and wanting to be something else. This counter balanced by the translator played by Negahban, who only has one objective and being forced into this insanity. They’re unlikely connection is the depth of the film and why it works so well yet is heartbreaking for them both.

It kicks things off with an interesting mission before slowing things down for quite some time, but it all leads to some pretty heavy well executed action. I love the big spectacle action flicks, but sometimes you just need real and gritty like this one. They have put it out there in real world situations and practical stunts making for some great sequences and more intense execution.

It’s not the action packed film I thought it was going to be and wanted, but the action here works and the story is so much more than you might expect. It is told on different fronts offering the vision and understanding of what all sides of these people at the forefront of these issues feel and believe. It is a grey area to who is really right and wrong, if either really exists, and makes you really think.

Join the mission and grab your copy of Kandahar available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.

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