Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Wednesday, 05.23.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4  5  6
 7  8  9  10  11  12  13
 14  15  16  17  18  19  20
 21  22  23  24  25  26  27
 28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Oct 05,2007
Movie Review: 'The Kingdom'
by David Elliott

A thriller set in Saudi Arabia, "The Kingdom" seems less ripped from the headlines than drawn from past thrillers based on previous headlines - but in a highly ballistic way, it often works remarkably well.

'THE KINGDOM' - FBI analyst Jason Bateman fights kidnappers in the political thriller 'The Kingdom.' CNS Photo courtesy of Frank Connor. 


4 STARS - Excellent.

3 STARS - Worthy.

2 STARS - Mixed.

1 STAR - Poor.

0 - Forget It (a dog.) 
The Saudi realm, triangulated by Islam, oil and royal autocracy, is called "the moon" by one character. There is an aura of the lunar, and the lunatic, when the elite FBI team led by Fleury (Jamie Foxx) lands in Riyadh, by very special (princely) permission allowed to investigate, for five days, a horrific terror bombing at a U.S. compound.

Director Peter Berg stages that nightmare in broad daylight with innocents observing and jams the story along without a pause. Opening with a sort of graphic newsreel of Saudi-American relations, the film is all quick cutting and convulsive pressure, with some dialogue simply tossed out like excess baggage.

Based on Berg's fascination with the 1996 terror attack in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, then tooled as an action movie with a political edge by Matthew M. Carnahan, the story sets up a simple parallel. Revenge-minded but never stupid, Fleury is hemmed-in by a resentful Saudi police colonel (lean Ashraf Barhom of "Paradise Now"), but they inevitably bond as they track the fanatics.

The Americans feel stranded, their forensic medical specialist (Jennifer Garner) not even allowed to touch the bodies of dead Muslims. The language barrier is almost absolute, though partly overcome by the fact that both Foxx and Barhom are excellent eye actors, and their bitten dialogue seems much less than half of their alliance.

Foxx can be ruthless but never brutal at heart, while rude machismo comes easily to Chris Cooper as the team guy who can't wait to dive into a murky bomb crater and gator around. He's a virtual character of Sam Peckinpah's, but so is the tactic of surrounding hard guys with vulnerable children; both Fleury and the colonel have adored sons, dwelled upon.

Despite Barhom's very human presence, the movie won't win any friends for Saudi Arabia, depicted as radically inhospitable. Once more the Yanks, who again seem partly made of Teflon that can bleed a little, who take charge for the furious, mounting climax of violence.

Pretty plainly staffed with stereotypes, "The Kingdom" is still humanly alert and not just an ammo party. While it sneers at a squishy diplomat (Jeremy Piven), and lets Danny Huston huff and sneer as a D.C. power player, it also is aware that the cost of obvious payback is more of the same, endlessly, Biblically.

It is this note of tragedy breeding sequels, each generation damned by a cycle of retribution, that gives "The Kingdom" resonance beyond its absorbing mayhem.

A Universal Pictures release. Director: Peter Berg. Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan. Cast: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Batemn, Danny Huston, Ashraf Barhom. Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes. Rated R. 3 stars.
1777 times read

Related news
Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Oct 05,2007

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Oct 12,2007

Film Close-Up: Jennifer Garner by Joey_Berlin posted on Oct 05,2007

DVD Select: 'Eastern Promises' a gripping mob thriller by Robert_J_Hawkins posted on Dec 21,2007

Saudi dissident held without charge by UPI posted on Jan 24,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 9 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?