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"A High-Octane Action Movie." -A. O. Scott, The New York Times Oscar winners Jamie Foxx (Collateral) and Chris Cooper (Breach) and Golden Globe winners Jennifer Garner (Daredevil) and Jason Bateman (Smokin' Aces) ignite the screen in this high-intensity thriller about a team of elite FBI agents sent to Saudi Arabia to solve a brutal mass murder and find a killer before he strikes again. Out of their element and under heavy fire, the team must join forces with their Saudi counterparts. As these unlikely allies begin to unlock the secrets of the crime scene, the team is led into a heart-stopping, do-or-die confrontation.
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I found the film extremely informative through Jamie Fox's narrative. He is on a mission but finds it important to explain to the audience a short historical backvround to help us better understand his role. This was of great help to me as my knowledge of Saudi Arabia was the "cliff note variety". This short narrative in the beginning of the movie was short but very informative and helped me understand the significance and necessity of what was to come.
It was.an action movie were one does need to understand what was to come. I thought the introduction clever so we could separate this type of action from other action films that for the most part are interchangeable from one and anothers plot.
There is one scene which is violent (shooting) but very complex from a technical point of view. I kept rewinding to see were all the editiing took place. There were several characters (supposedly the.good guys) each with a task that deemed.impossible to film without the use of many cameras focused on each actor.It really was done nicely without all the computer generated imagining. Im not a fan of gun play but this scene.really seemed to be thought out by the.director and others Im sure.
Jamie Fox was enjoyable to watch as well as to listen to (that early narrative that I found very informative).This is certainly not a one shot film. I surprisingly enjoyed a film that I thought was going to be repetitive of so many films on hard core action films. A good script and an interesting cast if I may add another thought or two.
I am just being reminded that some dvds do break that action scene down in their extras. Huh!
The first two thirds of the film are quite good. A terrorist organization has attacked an American workers compound in Saudi Arabia and an elite FBI response team must get into the secretive country to find the criminals who planned the attack. The American team is led by Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) and includes a forensic expert (an underused Jennifer Garner); an intelligence expert (Jason Bateman) and an explosives expert(Chris Cooper). Once in country the team meets their Saudi counterparts Colonel Faris Al Ghazi (Ashrof Barhom) and Sergeant Haytham (Ali Suliman).
The two groups begin to build a relationship of trust that allows them to go after the terrorist leader and bomb maker, Abu Hamsa (Hezi Saddik).
Perhaps the geatest flaw with the film is that its last third becomes nothing more than an extended gun battle that wraps things up too easily for my tastes. The film ends on a note that the violence will continue as both sides are entrenched in a kill them all attitude. As stated Berg does any things right in this film but it could have been much better.
I viewed the HD disc that had excellent picture and sound. The special features included three deleted scenes in HD, an extended featurette on the car crash sequence, a detailed making of the film featurette, a timeline on events in the Middle East, and an excellent commentary by Berg.
The Kingdom had the potential to be one of the best political thrillers of 2007 but unfortunately just missed its goal. The film is well worth a rental.