Kandahar (2023) Review: A Poor Man’s ‘The Covenant’ With Saudi Propaganda

Believe it or not, Gerard Butler has been in the best movie I’ve seen in 2023 a film called ‘Plane.’

Open Road Films

The film isn’t anything groundbreaking but it has a good setup, plot, action, and ending. Plane is one of the most solid films to come out in a so far disappointing start to 2023. When I heard that Gerard Butler was coming out with a second film entitled ‘Kandahar’, I was willing to see if Gerard Butler can go two for two with quality movies.

Whenever an actor or a producer wants to finance a film but can’t go to a major studio to get money, they have to go through various means to move forward with production. Sometimes that means teaming with foreign nations. One of those nations has been China as movies would endear themselves to the Communist Chinese government to get funding.

If they’re giving you the money, there isn’t much you can do. However, another country with a lot of cash that Hollywood goes to is Saudi Arabia. I know a lot of you guys are thinking wait a minute doesn’t liberal Hollywood hate Saudi Arabia because of how it treats journalists and gays?

Open Road Films

Behind the scenes, money talks and the Saudis have a lot of money. What does this have to do with the film Kandahar? Everything. Kandahar is a film starring Bulter as Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative, who is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. Harris is brought to gain access to a secret Iranian nuclear facility and destroy it. After taking down their operations an intelligence leak exposes his identity and mission while he is stuck in the country.

Left with no choice, he must fight his way out, alongside his Afghan translator, to an extraction point in Kandahar, all whilst avoiding the elite special forces unit tasked with hunting them down. If this film sounds familiar to you, it’s because the exact same premise was done in ‘The Covenant’ by Guy Ritchie and it was done far better. ‘Kandahar’ tells a solid story until it is time for the Saudis to get their money’s worth.

A big focus is on the espionage of the CIA and how they operate in other countries as well as broker deals in secret. The film gives audiences colorful backdrops of several Middle Eastern countries from Iran, to Afghanistan, all the way to the United Arab Emirates.

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The movie itself isn’t bad, we just saw this plot less than 3 weeks earlier in a film that did it much better. So what’s is the problem with the movie? As they were required to get the backing of the Saudi Arabian government, the film had to portray the Islamic religion in a positive light to get the green light.

A movie set in Afghanistan where characters are claiming that Islam is the one true religion isn’t shocking. However, the movie comes to a screeching halt as a dying character not only proclaims that Islam is the one true religion but that Muhammad is the one true prophet (which is weird considering he’s white).

The scene is so ridiculously jarring that you couldn’t help but wonder why it was in there. The answer to that question is simple, MBC Studios. When you know where the money comes from everything else makes perfect sense.

Open Road Films

‘Kandahar’ is a film you haven’t heard of due to the lack of marketing and there’s nothing that makes it a must watch for audiences. ‘Kandahar’ is a poor man’s ‘The Covenant.’





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