Friday, October 12, 2007
Politics + Action=Disorientation
The Kingdom is a strange conglomeration of flag-waving, things blowing up, first rank actors, political intrigue, and a stretch towards profundity. Think Rambo meets Syrannia, with the crowd-pleasing (and jingoistic) action shoulder-to-burly-shoulder against the humanism of the main characters. A debate is already underway among movie nitcrits, some convinced that actor-turned –director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) has purposefully shaped the movie as a fire powered adrenalin actioneer in order to subvert it with political disorientation, while others see it as pure and simple box office bloodlust. One way or the other, Berg handles the chaotic action with filmmaking gusto, and it also must be noted that amidst the heavyweight American main faces (Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman) and side ones (Danny Huston, Richard Jenkins, Jeremy Piven) the most riveting performance is that of Israeli actor Ashraf Barhom, as a grounded Saudi police Colonel.