The Kingdom

Dir: Peter Berg. 2007. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Ashraf Barhom, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman. English. Action
The Kingdom

When my mom gets pissed she watches Die Hard. She cackles and punches the air and I can see her falling in love with Bruce Willis a little each time. She gets so worried about all those people and his poor feet, but then he kicks those pompous, spoiled, rich, foreign bastards ass and the world is a little safer and easier to bear. When my step dad gets angry - and I mean the silent, stewing, breath-holding, heart attack courting angry, he watches Desperado. He is El Mariachi in Antonio Banderas form sidling up to and blowing the heads off of spoiled, rich, foreign bastards with a busty Salma at his side. What could be better? What rosier glasses to see the world through when you are in a snit?

My justify and release anger movie of the week is The Kingdom. First it's just a good movie. The script is tight with just enough workable action movie traits to keep me entertained and involved. The characters are familiar - you've seen them a dozen times before in different movies and different combinations and here they are again, ready to hang tough and go all the way. In The Middle East no less! But wait. Something's different. The fearless leader - god bless you Jamie Foxx - really is smart and not just some kid with a chiseled jaw pretending to problem solve. The feisty female/ berserker is my on-again girl crush, the AWEsome Jennifer Garner. Chris Cooper, once again pulling his weight, and Jason Bateman whose struggle to survive is is a fist in your heart, fill out the team work roster.

The terror and action are full of impact but what really works for me is the filmmakers put me just off center of my normal American hero perspective and keep me looking through the eyes of someone they are trying to help, Colonel Faris Al Ghasi of the Saudi Arabian police force. A father, a hard worker, a believer in justice and all the inner turmoil that accompanies it, he is the Middle Eastern Bruce Willis walking the line. His story makes me punch the air, makes me follow these stereotypical American do-gooders and makes me feel right about it. I'm glad there's so many bullets and grenades! I'm thrilled the blood splatters like exploding buckets! Yes! Shoot stab kill! Because this is confusing! I'm not right but neither are you! Punch me in the face, I'll kick you in the head and we'll all feel better, right? I want someone to kick those spoiled rich pompous foreigners' ASS. Yeah, I know it's my butt we're talking about but it's theirs, too. So thanks, The Kingdom. I needed that.

Posted by:
Jessica Kaman
Dec 29, 2007 4:19pm
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