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Thoughts On "The Kingdom" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, October 07, 2007

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Matinee. Unless you're a total action junkie, then save the extra cash and see "The Kingdom" during the day.

Will I Own It On DVD: Unlikely. Unless there's a deep discount, I don't see a compelling reason to the own this DVD.

1) "The Kingdom" is a straight-forward action picture combined with a procedural who-done-it after a bombing occurs in Saudi Arabia, an exotic locale which gives this otherwise standard project a huge boost by bringing the FBI into contact with foreign extremists.

2) Although the Saudi Arabian connection makes things more interesting, I do worry about people who try to take a history lesson from the fairly simplistic politics displayed in this 'Kingdom' - especially the beginning which condenses 100 years of the U.S. - Saudi Arabia relationship into film's opening credits.

3) The movie is well-cast, and features solid performances from a large ensemble including Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman and Jeremy Piven. Cooper and Bateman truly stand out as Cooper remains one the screen's finest character actors, and Bateman continues his career resurgence with a funny and harrowing turn in this film.

4) Foxx has begun to vaguely irritate me off-screen as he seems to have grown arrogant these past few years. Luckily, he leaves most of that aside, and can still deliver a powerful performance as "The Kingdom" gives him his chance to play the heroically decent FBI commander. And he does it well.

5) The film starts with a bang - literally - and after a meandering middle act, the ending delivers the necessary adrenaline with a deadly shoot-out in a hostile Saudi neighborhood that leaves a trail of blood in its wake, and showcases a gripping final 20 minutes or so.

Overall, "The Kingdom" adequately delivers a solid action movie which a top-notch cast elevates past the project's murky politics to make it a worthwhile endeavor if bullets flying and bloodshed in an exotic locale engages your interest.



  1. BostonPobble Says:
  2. I will probably see this because of Chris Cooper. I adore Chris Cooper. I don't mind Jamie Foxx. Jennifer Garner annoys me for some reason. But I adore Chris Cooper.

  3. Miss Ash Says:
  4. I want to see a few movies but not this one. I"d like to see that musicalish one Universe something or other and the one about that guy in Alaska that Sean Penn did. I'm very eleoquent this morning LOL.

  5. My only problem with this movie is that I get enough of this stuff on the nightly news. I just don't see the "entertainment" value in paying to see more of it. I'm more excited about "Michael Clayton" and hope YOU do too and will write a review?

  6. Bostonpobble - Cooper is consistently one of the best parts of whatever movie he's working inside. He was great in "Adaptation."

    Miss Ash - Very eloquent indeed. Ha. The music one is "Across the Universe" and the other is "Into the Wild." I will likely see 'Wild' and post a review once it comes to Austin.

    Anonymous Boxer - I understand completely. I didn't leave with a great feeling, and a lot of it had to do with a variation of your reasoning. As for "Michael Clayton," I do plan to see & review it once it comes to Austin. It should be good.

  7. JLee Says:
  8. Looks kinda depressing. That's all I got. But I too love Chris Cooper. I liked him in "Lone Star".

  9. Stephanie Says:
  10. I couldn't bring myself to see that one. Seemed way too depressing!

  11. Jlee - Cooper is good in nearly everything, and "Lone Star" is another fine example.

    Stephanie - It was fairly depressing as it doesn't leave you with a pleasing world view. That is one reason why I don't ever feel the need to see it again.


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