Starring: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman
Director: Peter Berg
Running Time: 110 mins
The Kingdom is an American film about a team of four US government agents who are sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of an American facility, suspecting the involvement of Al-Qaeda and a most-wanted terrorist.
Well, this was both an explosive and interesting film at the same time. It’s got a huge amount of action, with almost a Call Of Duty-like feel to it, while there’s also a whole lot about the politics of the US in the Middle East and the tension there during the 2000s, and while I was impressed by the both of those aspects, I can’t help feeling that the more political-heavy parts of this film were just a little bit dry.
That’s not to say, however, that the politics of this film weren’t on the whole very interesting. The main thing that it shows is how difficult it is for the Americans to do their thing on the ground in the Middle East due to the tensions and the cultural divide, and as this shines through in the film, it creates a whole lot of tension, and really adds to the interest even when there’s no action going on.
Despite that, there are some points in this film where it tries too hard to be a serious political drama. It really reminds me of Zero Dark Thirty, which suffered from the same problem, whereby the film is full of explosions and action and killing etc., however occasionally tries to settle down and be grown-up about everything, it’s just a bit uncomfortable to watch, especially if the politics gets too boring, which it often does here.
Meanwhile, the action was pretty solid. The first twenty minutes of this film were an absolute blast, and was a fast-paced, no holds barred sequence of battles and gunfights, which I found hugely enjoyable, and was totally glued to the screen.
When the film returns to action at points later in the film, however, it gets a little bit over the top. Especially with the weird contradiction of the serious political side to it, its attempts to be so much like a computer game often annoyed me, and come the end, when the battle scenes were just going on too long and were too explosive, I got a little bored.
Away from all that, one of the more impressive things about this film was the performances. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman (who I couldn’t take seriously) and Chris Cooper were all very convincing badass government agents, who could handle themselves in an office as well as they could in a battlefield, and I thought that they really added to the strengths of this film, which were mainly about being enjoyable, however due to the major flaws and inconsistency of this film, I’ll give it a 7.4.