Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, May 27, 2024

If I had to pick a word to describe the new movie "The Kingdom," I might choose "intense." "Rapid" also comes to mind.

These descriptors are not meant in a derogatory sense, however. Far from it: "The Kingdom" is a well-thought-out, smart thriller that fills the void since the last good Tom Clancy movie.

Right from the opening credits, "The Kingdom" establishes itself as different from the silly summer blockbusters.

The story follows FBI agents as they try to find out who masterminded a bombing in an American civilian compound in Saudi Arabia. There is political intrigue at every corner, and the movie does not talk down to the audience. In fact, that was one of the strongest parts of the movie. If you didn't catch something, director Peter Berg didn't wait for you to catch up. He just kept right on rolling. It helps cement the time element to the film - the fact that the case needs to be solved on a deadline is only augmented by the speed at which the film progresses.

However, with the exception of Ashraf Barhom (Col. Faris Al Ghazi), the acting was standard issue. It was as if someone went into the supermarket of actors and picked ones off the shelves. Jamie Foxx is convincing as an FBI agent but more or less plays the same character he has in nearly everything. Chris Cooper is perfect as the hard-edged oddball with a softer side and lends a sense of old-time class to the film.

In the middle of the spectrum sits Jason Bateman (star of "Arrested Development"). He is really quite excellent in the movie, but his comic relief is so funny at times that it is out of place. This is one of the problems with a suspense thriller: There needs to be something to break the action, but if it is too funny, it feels awkward.

There were two awful performances in the film. Jennifer Garner was terrible. It may have been that her character was poorly written, but it seemed that aside from her performance in the final action sequence, she really could have been dropped from the film. Jeremy Piven was the other terrible choice. It was very unsettling to see the guy from "Entourage" appear in Saudi Arabia. Granted, his name in "The Kingdom" is Damon Schmidt, but it is essentially the same character.

The strongest part of the film without a doubt is the final action scene. It is nearly a half-hour of insanity that can - and does - keep you on the edge of your seat. I was riveted and couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

"The Kingdom" is a very satisfying political thriller. While it won't be winning any acting awards, it is certainly worth a watch.

Final Score: 8/10

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.