Sunday, February 25, 2018

"THE KINGDOM" (2007) Review




"THE KINGDOM" (2007) Movie Review

Based upon a real life incident regarding a terrorist attacks in the Saudi Arabia (Riyadh Compound Bombings), the 2007 action thriller, "THE KINGDOM", tells the story of an FBI Counterterrorist unit sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate a terrorist attack upon an American compound in Saudi Arabia. Directed by Peter Berg ("FRIDAY NIGHTS LIGHTS") and produced by Michael Mann, the movie starred Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman.

The main question is . . . did I like "THE KINGDOM"? And the answer is yes. In fact, I had enjoyed it very much. It had plenty of suspense, drama and especially action that should not leave anyone disappointed. Most of the story seemed to be focused upon the theme of American cops forced to deal with their country's own bureaucacy and with the hostility of foreign cops who resent the idea of Americans invading their turf. There have been other Hollywood crime dramas with similar themes. But in "THE KINGDOM", this theme is intensified due to the story's setting - namely Saudi Arabia and the Middle East culture and the current concern of terrorism. And I feel that screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan and Michael Mann did a great job.

The entire cast was first-rate . . . especially Jamie Foxx as FBI Agent Ronald Fleury and Ashraf Barhom as Col. Faris Al-Ghazi of the Saudi police, who managed to create a very credible relationship of two men whose different cultures would automatically make them enemies during this time in history. Yet slowly . . . surely, they managed to form a close friendship. Jennifer Garner, Kyle Chandler in a brief appearance and a very entertaining Jason Bateman also gave competent performances. Rounding off the competent supporting cast were Jeremy Piven, Ali Suliman, Richard Jenkins, Tim McGraw, Ashley Scott, Frances Fisher, Omar Berdouni, Anna Devere Smith and Danny Huston. My only problem with the casting was Chris Cooper. Although he was his usual competent self, there were times when his character seemed a bit irrelevant and a little hammy at times.

About a month before the movie was released in the theaters, someone had written a review of the movie and considered it as a potential for Academy Award nominations. To be honest, I do not know if I would agree with that assessment. As good as "THE KINGDOM" was, I did not see the possibility of it earning any award nominations. At least of Oscar caliber. And I was right. To me, it was simply a solid action-drama with a first-rate cast and good, solid writing. Worthy of an entertaining trip to your local theater or afternoon/evening in front of your television and DVD machine.

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