While visiting Kabul, Afghanistan, washed-up music manager Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) gets dumped by his latest client Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel). His luck soon changes once he meets Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice who dreams of becoming the first female to compete on the television show “Afghan Star.” With the help of an industrious hooker (Kate Hudson), two war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a mercenary (Bruce Willis), Richie must embark on a mission to get his new protégée discovered.
I’ve always been a fan of Bill Murray ever since I saw Ghostbusters. Since I haven’t seen too many of his films this current millennium, so as soon as I heard about this one, I had to see it. So this is exactly what you would expect, Bill Murray spewing one-liner after one-liner as he has often done in films. The problem was that this time, I didn’t think it worked because I did not find any of it to be funny. I guess the big draw about this film was supposed to be just Bill Murray being Bill Murray in Afghanistan. I guess the comedy in this one was supposed to be the contrast between his sleazy, hollywood-type with the Middle East. I also found it odd that his character had a young daughter considering how old Murray is. Despite not finding any of it funny, I still thought Bill Murray way okay at depicting this. There were other characters in the film but other than Salima and Richie, you never really got to know anything about them since the film had no character development whatsoever what didn’t help was that they were barely on screen to begin with. Because of this, I found myself not caring about them and because of that, I also found myself bored. It wasn’t because I found any of the acting bad, it was just that since all of the other characters are so poorly written. Speaking of not caring about things, I did not care about the story either. It just seemed like it tried to go in many directions and then just kept dropping subplots as it went on. This is partly the cause of the lack of character development. I also found myself to be bored with certain subplots because of the several instances of not caring I mentioned previously. I understand that they were only meant to lead us to the main part of the plot but I thought that they could have done a better job taking us there. The only part I liked was the part about Richie discovering Salima and trying to get her discovered. These scenes were the most exciting to me as I was interested in the cultural issues and I thought Salima was actually a good singer which made it entertaining. It’s just a little disappointing when you think of what this film could have been considering the story which had the potential of being good and the actors involved but all of it just fell victim to bad writing. Bill Murray was still able to do his best considering what he had and it made this still watchable.