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film review

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

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).

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.