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'Rock the Kasbah': Film Review - THR

THR: Barry Levinson's latest casts Bill Murray as an aging rock tour manager who ends up getting stranded in Afghanistan.

The gaps between the hipster comedy of the star, the incipient sentimentality of the story and the gravely depressing reality of the setting provide tonal abysses simply too vast to bridge in Rock the Kasbah, an intermittently amusing but dramatically problematic mish-mash that careens all over a rough and rocky road. The idea of parachuting Bill Murray as a washed-up '60s rock tour manager into the nightmare of contemporary Afghanistan no doubt seemed like too promising a fish-out-of-water story not to pursue. But so much of what goes down, particularly as concerns the modest but insistent hopefulness of the third act, feels like an overly idealistic wish-fulfillment fantasy and fails to unite the film's assorted creative aspirations. This Open Road release doesn't look to travel very far theatrically.

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