Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Kingdom

The Kingdom is from actor/director Peter Berg. Berg made a name for himself in directing for his last two efforts: The Rundown and Friday Night Lights. Both turned a little profit allowing him to go nuts here with a big budget political-action film. "The Kingdom" refers to the a section of Saudi Arabia with a lot of westerners live. A series of violent terror strikes kills 70 plus people. One of Foxx's best friends was killed in a blast prompting Foxx to use his connections to go investigate.

His team includes the surly Chris Cooper (Don't placate me like I'm your mother boy!), the out of her element Jennifer Garner, and the cheap comic relief Jason Bateman. When you get down to it, The Kingdom is just another fish out of water story with an overly complicated first 80 minutes culminating in a fantastic climax. Berg clearly knows how to direct an action film. The final sequence is one of the best choreographed action sequences I have ever seen.

All of the actors playing the Saudi's are excellent especially Ashraf Barhom as the liason to the FBI. Cooper is criminally underused here. If I had it my way, Cooper would be in every film along with Michael Rooker, William H. Macy, William Sadler, and Andre Braugher. Foxx is fine as the lead who does a solid job with the action scenes.

I clearly would like to see Berg do some more material. Word is he has some crappy Will Smith/Charlize Theron film coming out later this year. I like both of those actors, but they have a terrible history of picking films. The Kingdom is fairly decent flick that's not very memorable.


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