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THE KINGDOM by Peter Berg


After a terrorist attack on Americans in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) with more than 100 victims, a FBI investigation team led by Special Agent Fleury (Jamie Foxx) goes to Saudi Arabia to investigate, against official orders. Initially, both the Saudi officials and US diplomats keep them on a short leash, but when Fleury and his team earn the respect and reluctant friendship of Colonel Faris Al Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum) they soon are on the trail of a Saudi terrorist group which may be responsible for the bombing.
But the closer they come to their target and the more they expose themselves, the more dangerous their mission becomes since US citizens are not welcome to a majority of the religious population.

Jennifer Garner as Janet Mayes in The Kingdom Starting with a brief history of US-Saudi Arabian history and the detailed depiction of the terrorist attack, followed by the introduction of the main characters, you might think of The Kingdom as a political film.
You might still think so following the slow build-up, but the action-film clich├ęs are creeping in right away (“cowardish” and hesitant officials order to stay put, gung-ho “brave” FBI agents take matters in their own hands), and they are here to stay and rise their ugly heads until they finally take over completely. There is “CSI: Riyadh”, there is the mismatched cop team (Jamie Foxx and Ashraf Barhoum), the culture-clashing, the “heros on foreign and hostile territory”, and before you notice, you are deep in Rambo-country, the place where American revenge-, justice- and victory dreams come true, complete with Bourne-style “realistic” shaky camera to draw the audience in and give it a feeling of reality.

As an action film, The Kingdom is thoroughly solid and way better then the usual action fare, but if you are looking for a more politic movie, go to the DVD store and grab a copy of Syriana.

Ashraf Barhoum and Jamie Foxx in The Kingdom

The Kingdom movie trailer

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