Bill Murray has ascended in the last ten years to the rank of one of our most loved and respected actors, on the strength of three things: His elusive, offbeat public persona; a string of acclaimed turns in comedy/dramas from such directors as Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, and Jim Jarmusch; and a renewal of appreciation for his earlier comedies, most notably Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.
Murray is coming off his Golden Globe-nominated turn in indie comedy/drama St. Vincent with what appears to be a more straight-up comedy vehicle: Rock the Kasbah, from director Barry Levinson. You can watch the film’s newly-released trailer, above.
The new Rock the Kasbah trailer, which features some of the same lines and scenes as the first theatrical preview that appeared back in June, leads us through the plot: Murray is a down-on-his-luck music manager, bringing a pop diva (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO-like tour of Afghanistan. And when Deschanel ditches him, Murray decides to salvage the situation by discovering a young Afghan singer and shepherding her through a regional version of American Idol.
This trailer gives us more Murray than the first, as well as an opening shot of the actor getting all sardonic, which he did for 90 minutes in St. Vincent. We also get to see Murray waking up dressed as a woman and awakened by Bruce Willis. Throughout the trailer, much like the first, there’s lots of classic rock from the likes of Bowie and Free, although once again there’s not a hint of the Clash song of the title.
If a film is going to give us another vintage Murray starring role, the odds are stacked in Rock the Kasbah’s favor. It’s got an intriguing premise, and reunites the actor with Saturday Night Live and Scrooged veteran Mitch Glazer, as well as Murray’s Moonrise Kingdom costar Bruce Willis; other notables in the cast include Deschanel, Danny McBride and Kate Hudson. Levinson, meanwhile, made one of the best comedies about an American civilian abroad during a war – Good Morning, Vietnam– and also directed a razor-sharp political satire, Wag the Dog, a decade and a half later.
On the other hand, Levinson hasn’t made anything as good as those films in awhile. And there was another cinematic attempt to tie the politics of war in the Middle East with American Idol, it was called American Dreamz (2006), and it wound up being a critical/commercial bust. Either way, when Kasbah arrives, you can probably expect a number of think-pieces (regarding the way the film treats war and strife in a country like Afghanistan) to follow shortly thereafter.
Rock the Kasbah opens in U.S. theaters on October 23rd, 2015.
Source: Yahoo! Movies