Rock the Kasbah Review


Even a predictably funny performance from Bill Murray isn’t enough to save this promising movie from disappointing mediocrity.


Bill Murray plays Richie Lanz, a washed up band manager who takes one of his clients (Zooey Deschanel) to Afghanistan for a USO tour. However, after seeing the danger and poverty of Afghanistan, she flees the country, stealing Lanz’s passport and money in the process. A series of quirky events eventually bring Lanz into contact with Salima (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun girl with an incredible voice. Lanz then spends the rest of the movie trying to overcome tradition and get her on “Afghan Star,” the Afghanistan version of American Idol.


Bill Murray plays his usual lovable loser, a flawed character, down on his luck whose tenacity endears him to the audience. Salima is a strong-willed girl with an incredible voice who is willing to risk her life to pursue music. It would seem impossible to find a way to ruin this movie, yet the cast and crew manage to do  just that.


Despite a promising concept and a talented supporting cast (Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride), “Rock The Kasbah” falls utterly short of anything that resembles a good movie.


The most interesting characters are either not given enough attention or abandoned with no explanation halfway through the movie. Plot lines are picked up and dropped almost immediately, and  ridiculous dialogue takes all weight out of dramatic moments.


More than anything it seems like there were three versions of “Rock The Kasbah” and the editors decided to splice them together with no rhyme or reason.


Gaping plot holes are never resolved and uninspired dialogue leaves the audience bored and frustrated. Despite a relatively short runtime of an hour and 40 minutes, “Rock The Kasbah” succeeds in feeling like one of the most drawn out movies of the year.


For a movie that features gun smugglers, warlords, mercenaries and Kate Hudson as a prostitute, “Rock The Kasbah” is boring and muddled to a fault.
1/5 stars