The Kingdom

Just saw the movie The Kingdom and thought it was great.  There are lots of movies that I like a lot, but when rating them (in my Netflix account), I think "definitely 4 stars, probably a little more, but 5 stars?  nah..."  However with The Kingdom I didn’t hesitate to give it 5 stars.

There was a lot for me to like about this movie.  First of all, it’s a government/political action movie sort of in the same genre as the Bourne movies, but it’s actually based on reality: terrorist attacks that actually happened, in particular, and the strained relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia in general.  From the movie’s opening scenes you might initially think it’s going to be a documentary, but not for long.

The second thing I really liked about The Kingdom is that while it’s definitely an exciting action movie, it’s not non-stop ridiculous action like Mission Impossible, and not even non-stop awesome action like the Bourne movies.  There’s lots of action, but there’s also lots of character, lots of quiet, lots of random artistic scenes, and a bunch of funny or thoughtful comments by the characters throughout the movie.

Finally, I liked that The Kingdom had Jamie Foxx in it.  I think he’s awesome, and I love how he manages to come across as both a bada** mofo (pardon the expression) and a sensitive thoughtful guy at the same time.

The only substantial criticism I have is that The Kingdom sort of made the Saudis seem incompetent in terms of forensics; it’s like they were just clueless about how to solve crimes so the Americans came in and figured everything out for them.  Of course I have no idea whether the Saudis are good at that kind of stuff in reality, and it’s entirely possible that America is in fact better at it, but it seems unlikely to me that the Saudis are as helpless as the movie made it seem.  But, it is only a movie, and there had to be some areas in which suspension of disbelief was required.

And it wasn’t entirely antagonistic towards the Saudis, either: the Saudi counterpart to Jamie Foxx’s character is very likeable and is portrayed as a good guy and a hero.

Posted by Anthony on reply

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