Sunday, October 07, 2007

THE KINGDOM - super-slick, astoundingly subversive

Can we dial down the boobies?THE KINGDOM is, for the most part, a super-slick CSI Riyadh police procedural. Against bureaucratic opposition, Jamie Foxx leads a team of FBI investigators into a US compound in Saudi Arabia to investigate a terrorist attack perpertrated by Abu Hamza. There is much sifting of debris and extraction of nails from corpses: Jamie Foxx looks pissed off, Jeremy Piven is oleaginous and Jason Bateman wise-cracks. The production is pure quality, as only Hollywood studios know how. It's compelling in the way that CSI used to be compelling, but also totally forgettable. And then, just when you think Jamie and his crew have gone all hearts-and-minds there is a completely subversive final scene which basically says that the American "good guys" that we have been rooting for and the nasty terrorists are just as bad as each other! That it's all about bloody, animalistic, inhumane revenge. I never thought I'd live to say anything that cynical and balls-out subversive in a studio film!

THE KINGDOM is on release in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, Estonia, the Netherlands and Japan. It is released in the Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Slovakia, Iceland, Norway and Sweden next week. It is released in Egypt, Bulgaria, Mexico, Belgium and France later in October. It goes on release in Greece, Russia, South Korea, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Singapore, Finland, Spain and Italy in November. It is released in Argentina on December 13th.


  1. I suddenly wanted to read ur review of The lake House - the Keanu Reeves - Sandra Bullock starrer - and went searching for it in ur archives. But it wasnt there.

    Have u given it a miss?

    Amazing blog, as I have said once already, long time back.

  2. Hmmm. Should be there. Maybe I just forgot to add it to the template way back. I'll rectify this today!
    Thanks for the props,