Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Kingdom

Jamie Foxx has grown on me ever since Collateral. He star's in Peter Berg's geopolitical thriller, The Kingdom, as a "never take no for an answer" FBI agent that leads an FBI investigation on foreign soil, Saudi Arabia a land with over 5000 princes.

Ronald Fleury (Foxx) leads his team into Saudi Arabia to find the culprits behind a terrorist attack on a compound housing American employees and their families. The team has only five days to investigate, and a U.S. diplomat played by the always energetic Jeremy Piven would rather they just do a photo op and leave on the next flight out. But the team didn't fly all that way to go on a safari.

The team is made up of an explosives expert (Chris Cooper), an intelligence analyst (Jason Bateman) and a forensics whiz (Jennifer Garner). Agent Fleury convinces the local Saudi prince to let his team do their job and find those responsible for the attack.

While the chemistry between these powerful actors may be a tad forced, the actors deliver solid performances, Chris Cooper just coming off of his excellent lead role in Breach (another great geopolitical thriller), brings balance to the team. Jason Bateman, provides the comic relief in the film and zings out his one-liners perfectly. Jennifer Garner a.k.a Alias is right at home as an FBI agent who can hold her own against the terrorists.

This film has a great story set against the back drop of terrorism, and plays out like an episode of CSI or NCIS. It drags a little in the middle, but builds momentum in the end with ambushes, gun battles, (how many RPGs can you dodge?), and careening car chases that takes "thriller" to a new level, not to mention the suspense. Well done Berg!

I'll never understand how killing a 100 or even 3000 (e.g. 9/11) will somehow further the religious goals of a group of sick-twisted people, or how it brings glory to Allah. I was never great at math, but even I can see that it does not add up. The Kingdom starts out showing us a timeline of terrorist acts leading up to 9/11. Have these acts accomplished their goal? What is the goal? A holy war? Not happening. Change U.S. Policy? Only in that we now spend billions to hunt you down. Paralyze the world with fear? Just the opposite, we have become apathetic to suicide bombings. We were all horrified September 11, 2001, but now when we read in the news fifty killed in a market by a suicide bomber, we yawn and turn to the sports page to become outraged at an NFL player killing dogs. (hey, I'm outraged too!)

So my message to terrorists: Come up with something new! Killing people isn't working. You're boring me! Think outside the bomb; Hire the ad agency that does Bud commercials if you want to get people's attention.

Okay, sorry for the rant folks, go check out The Kingdom, it has a great story and a killer cast!

1 comment:

-Bill said...

I failed to mention the excellent performance by Ashraf Barhom who played Colonel Faris! He really did a superb job!