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Bill Murray as Richie Lanz in Rock the Kasbah, a rollicking Kabul-set comedy from the Good Morning, Vietnam veteran Barry Levinson.

2.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Mitch Glazer
Directed by
Barry Levinson
Starring
Bill Murray, Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel
Country
USA
Language
English

Bruce Willis says Rock the Kasbah is Bill Murray's "best picture," but then again he's famous for saying "yippee-ki-yay," and "I do" to Demi Moore.

He also mails in his performance as a mercenary – he's contractually obligated to carry a gun in every role he chooses – in a rollicking Kabul-set comedy from the Good Morning, Vietnam veteran Barry Levinson.

Murray is a bandana-wearing hoot as Richie Lanz, a hustling rock 'n' roll has-been manager who never was. A USO tour of Afghanistan is his ticket for easy loot, but in the desert the lucre is filthy and things go sideways immediately. He loses his passport and his artist – Zooey Deschanel, in a stretch as a semi-talented singer – but gains an ally in a gold-dusted hooker (Kate Hudson).

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He also finds his soul, bashes out a shouty, Murray-esque version of Smoke on the Water and discovers a gifted young Pashtun woman who has a way with the Cat Stevens catalogue. Baby it's a wild film, but not Murray's best and not Levinson's either.

Hello, box office. Good night, Afghanistan.

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