Last night i quite literally discovered “The Kingdom” on my shelf, had no clue where it came from and thought i would give it a watch, I loved it.
The kingdom (2007) is a great action film where the main character Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) and 3 other FBI agents played by Chris Cooper (Jarhead), Jennifer Garner (Daredevil) and Jason Bateman (Smokin’ Aces) fight to get boots on the ground and find out what really went on in the oil-company compound which put Saudi Arabia in the worlds press after a terrorist attack killed and wounded hundreds of innocent children and an FBI agent. Their mission is to find who did it, and bring them to justice.
While The Kingdom is not your stereotypical action film, it does still check all my boxes, lots of gun fire, big explosion, strong male leads, huge suspense in the first 2/3rds (acts) of the film and a dramatic breaking point when they thought they would get out easy but instead found themselves in the familiar high-speed car chase, sprinkled with intense shoot outs and awesome explosions. Not to mention the kidnapping which could lead to another beheading video on the Internet.
Note: It’s well worth checking out the bonus features on the DVD which shows how they filmed the car chases and explosions – Very interesting and almost as entertaining as the final product – for geeks like me anyway!
I find it facinating how societies and people communicate and function, and this film shows this well between the characters. Unlike some films and media representations this film did not shy away from criticizing both the Saudi Arabia and the USA, although admittedly the line “America’s not perfect; not at all. I’m the first to admit it” for me made it obvious that this was an intention and not something which naturally wrote itself into the script and the American heroes seem to get more glorification compared to their Saudi counterpart which played an equally exciting role in the final action.
Throughout the film the team are blocked and hindered in every way, in the beginning they are informed of the “rules”, they are only permitted to walk through the crime scene, they must not touch anything and under no circumstances are they to touch a dead Muslim – This make finger printing hard. It is clear the FBI are there for one purpose. Publicity. The Saudi Arabian princes are desperate for good publicity after the 9/11 bombings (when 15 out of 19 were Saudi Arabian), Fleury uses this to his advantage to get boots on the ground and later on when he is blunt and honest with the prince, allowing them to do what they came for, finding the baddy and bringing them to justice (which doesn’t mean jail… have you ever seen an action film where the bad guy lives?).
I won’t go into how this film is great in how it handles the politics and shows it all in a different light than most films/TV shows, like 24. Hopefully this review was interesting, and i didn’t give too much away for those who haven’t seen the film; hopefully i hope to write more reviews like this, well hopefully better, in future.
Watch it, if you like action films, you will love it.
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