Movie Review – The Kingdom – Serious!

The Kingdom

After a terrorist attack to an American housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where families and the spy Francis Manner are murdered, FBI agent Ronald Fleury blackmails the South Arabian consul to get five days of investigation in the location. He travels with agent Grant Sykes, Janet Mayes and Adam Leavitt to revenge their friend and try to find the responsible for the bombing. The agents find all sorts of difficulties in their investigation, but they are supported by Colonel Faris Al Ghazi that advises the team how to act in a hostile environment

I actually thought this was some kind of action movie from the poster, so I didn’t watch it for a while as I didn’t feel like anything mindless (I never did check it out in IMDB where it has a solid score of 7.2).

The day I happened to put it on however I did, and was surprised to find it’s actually a serious movie – somewhat of a political thriller.

Having been to Saudia Arabia before and having spent some time there…it was a little reminiscent, the events in the movie aren’t too far from reality.

This movie follows on from a crop of terrorist/middle-eastern themed movies such as Rendition, Vantage Point and A Mighty Heart.

The movie has more action than the others do and is generally faster paced, so it’s torn somewhere between being an action movie and a political commentary/thriller.

Jamie Foxx once again shows he’s a great actor (but I knew that ever since I saw Ray) holding the lead of Ronald Fleury.

Jamie Foxx in The Kingdom

The rest of the cast do a good job with the local police Sergeant Haytham playing an excellent and compelling role.

The action scenes are good and realistic and there are some interesting and scary characters laced through-out the movie.

Of course the bad guys get served in the end..but that’s how the Americans wish it always was.

All in all it’s a decent movie, it won’t win any awards and it’s not particularly memorable in dialogue or scenery – but it’s worth a watch.

I’d give it a pretty good 6/10.




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12 Responses to Movie Review – The Kingdom – Serious!

  1. kevin July 31, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    it just amuses me how much crap those ppl have to dish before actually beheading someone.

  2. LD July 31, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    Totally agree with your review.

    Was duped into thinking it was more action than drama but was somehow pleasantly surprised in the end.

  3. ShaolinTiger July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    kevin: Yah that scene was pretty scary.

    LD: Yah, was pleasantly surprised too.

  4. Alvin July 31, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

    I’ve been hearing positive comments about this movie but didn’t manage to catch it in the cinema (i was in UK during the release, and the ticket price was a little expensive for me). Will try to find DVD or something.

  5. moons July 31, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Watched it in the cinema some time back, it was pretty good, though frightening as well. The ending where how the seeds of revenge are sowed into the next generation is quite disturbing, of which I’m sure happens a lot.

  6. davidlian July 31, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    I watched this on DVD last month, and I must say, of the lot of shows I snagged for that weekend, this was one of the best (closely tied with The Other Boleyn Girl).

    Haytham was excellent. I nearly shed a tear when he died…because he has kids and a wife. Sigh. But excellent acting from the cast overall.

  7. Huai Bin July 31, 2008 at 11:40 pm #

    I saw this one in the cinema a while back (think it was early this year) and found it great too, mostly coz I’m a fan of Jennifer Garner (from Alias, not Electra). I liked the scene at the beginning especially when the older man taught a really young boy how to hate when they were looking through binoculars. Captivating scene.

  8. Z August 1, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    ST, I know this is irrelevant, but check out HBO’s Generation Kill if you like war-theme shows. It goes a bit deeper than the usual kill-terrorist-we-win/war-is-wrong servings, and damn if the show isn’t awesome in its truthfulness.

    Check it out.

  9. ShaolinTiger August 1, 2008 at 2:28 pm #

    Alvin: Yah do check it out, it’s definitely worth a watch.

    moons: There are some scary things in there, breeding hate…and passing hate to the next generation.

    davidlian: Some very strong roles indeed, yah Bolyn girl was good too (surprisingly for me haha).

    Huai Bin: Horrifying, but believable. That was a very harrowing scene.

    Z: Sounds good, I’ve heard about it. Someone said it’s like a new age Band of Brothers, those series but it’s like a long movie.

  10. B.H. August 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    I thought it was a competent movie but it offered a myopic and simplified version of the current political landscape.

    In some ways, movies like these perpetuate archaic stereotypes. I hope the day never comes that South East Asians are protrayed in the same light.


  11. Ano August 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    I’ve watched the movie about 6 months ago. But I forgot how life was like in Saudi. I almost got suckered into accepting a job offer in Riyadh recently. They’re only paying me as much as a doorman in Manhattan, so I blew them off.

    How much would it take for you to consider going back to hell? (I read your other Saudi posts and it didn’t seem like you enjoyed it).

  12. ShaolinTiger August 11, 2008 at 9:09 am #

    B.H.: Yah well it is a yankee-fest afterall.

    Ano: Lucky you didn’t….it would take a lot, they offered me a shitload to carry on there – I told them to stick it.