Gerard Butler stars in “Kandahar.”

Our macho action movie auteurs are starting to reckon with the tragic situation in Afghanistan, which has fallen to the Taliban after the withdrawal of the United States in 2021. On the heels of “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” comes Ric Roman Waugh’s “Kandahar” starring Gerard Butler, a brutal actioner set in the lawless land of an Afghanistan crawling with Taliban, ISIS-K and various covert operatives.

But while Butler vehicles are typically lean, mean, action-cinema delivery machines, Waugh’s “Kandahar” is not the usually efficient Butlerian fare such as “Plane,” or even “Greenland,” the previous film on which this director and star collaborated. Yes, Butler does play a sad single dad on his way to his teen daughter’s graduation, much like he did in “Plane” (if he has a flight to catch, something crazy is about to go down), but “Kandahar” is much bigger and broader.

Will Carpenter is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s Arts and Entertainment/Features Reporter. He can be reached by email at wcarpenter@wyomingnews.com or by phone at 307-633-3135. Follow him on Twitter @will_carp_.

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