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Comedy - Adult

Rock the Kasbah (2015)

Duration1h 45m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 12
Source of storyInspired by a documentary about an Afghan TV talent show
DirectorBarry Levinson
Writers/ScriptMitch Glazer
StarringBill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Leem Lubany, Arrian Moayed, Scott Caan, Danny McBride
RatingsIMDb: 5.5 by 10,652 people, Rotten Tomatoes: 7% by 123 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: Richie Lanz is a down on his luck agent with one protégé with whom he embarks on a military entertainment tour of Afghanistan. But she has been unaware of the danger and absconds in a military aircraft with Richie’s passport and money. In his search for her he links up with a couple of geezers, who give him money and a hooker with a heart, Merci, who gives him what she says will be a night to remember.  Attempting to leave the country in a convoy managed by Bombay Brian he ends up in a tribal fortification and hears a wonderful voice. It is the chief’s daughter. So mustering his new friends in the capital he manages to get her a slot on a TV talent show. But not everyone is on his side.

Content:  There is no sex or nudity, although Richie is seen tied up on Merci’s bed in a blonde wig and lipstick. There is also a lot of dope smoking and drinking. Rickie is shot at and blown up, and there is a lot of travelling about in convoys in the desert. There are many scenes of men on horseback brandishing Kalashnikovs, and time spent in the talent show as Salima sings and in the end might win the competition. Richie also sings, very badly.

A View: The scene of Murray in the wig and lipstick is totally inappropriate. Anyway, he is too old, so his stumbling about is just a bit depressing rather than comedic. And honestly we could not imagine Merci servicing the queue of clients standing outside her caravan, she is more of a rich Arab’s all nighter. But despite this some of it was fun, and the scenes of motoring in the desert are impressive. In the end we hoped that Salima was going to win the competition, so not all bad. Despite its 7% Rotten Tomatoes rating a watch for nothing if you are a Bill Murray fan.

Additional info:  The Financial Times reviewer said “You don’t want to see Rock the Kasbah. If you do, you’re reading the wrong newspaper”. I think this is a pretty bold statement.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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