Gerard Butler’s latest action vehicle, Kandahar (previously Mission Kandahar), directed by Ric Roman Waugh, follows the exploits of Tom Harris (played by Butler), an undercover CIA operative stranded in hostile territory in Afghanistan. When a leak exposes his identity and mission, Tom must navigate a perilous escape alongside his translator, Mohammad “Mo” Doud (Negahban), with the clock ticking to reach an extraction point in Kandahar. Pursued by elite special forces, the odds are stacked against them. Although not the pinnacle of Butler’s or Waugh’s careers, their involvement adds considerable value to this decent and serviceable action thriller.
Butler brings more to the character of Tom than what is initially on the page, infusing him with unexpected depth and making audiences genuinely care about his fate. Negahban’s portrayal of Mo is equally impressive, embodying the film’s most compelling character with a tragic backstory. The chemistry between Butler and Negahban is strong, effectively conveying their evolving friendship through heartfelt and emotionally resonant scenes. Fimmel’s performance as Roman Chalmers is a standout, exuding a charismatic and likable yet cocky energy that captivates audiences.
The action sequences are well-crafted and entertaining, culminating in a climactic ending that leaves a lasting impression. However, Kandahar falls short in generating the thrills, tension, and excitement expected from a film with this premise. The first act drags and becomes convoluted, burdened by unnecessary story beats and characters who serve little purpose. While the film’s two-hour running time is not overly noticeable, it could have benefited from a tighter narrative or deeper exploration of the relationship between Tom and Mo.
Despite its flaws, Kandahar remains an enjoyable action thriller, particularly for those who appreciate the genre. It does not redefine action cinema or break new ground, but it delivers a solid and satisfying experience. While not among Gerard Butler’s most memorable films, it is still worth a recommendation, especially for fans of the actor. Visit myflixer movies for more!