The Kingdom-Mind Numbing Middle
Luckily, I did not go to the theater to see The Kingdom. That would have been a big mistake as The Kingdom is mostly a dull chat fest. Now, this may surprise those of you who saw the high-energy trailer complete with stuff blowing up and all the rest. Oh, no doubt, you will see some action in The Kingdom, but the agony of the middle. Imagine a bunch of people standing around jawing and jawing in a gymnasium, or a crime scene without much at all really happening. That is pretty much the middle of The Kingdom. As an action film, The Kingdom is a mess, true there is a lot of action in the very beginning and a lot of action at the very end. However, you are screwed for the majority of the film.
The story is about a bunch of FBI agents that go to Saudi Arabia due to a terrorist attack that kills numerous Americans, including a close friend-of course. The film has a few twists and turns and some attempts at intrigue, but you won’t care, you’ll just be bored off your ass. The cast is solid, with Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman among others but the script doesn’t really take advantage of any of its actors.
Director Peter Berg doesn’t really seem to know what kind of movie he is trying to tackle with The Kingdom and it shows.
There are little things I find irritating as well, such as Jeremy Piven, I mean who in their right mind keeps paying this guy? Well anyway, he’s in it, being annoying and pompous. Then there is the issue of the music score by Danny Elfman. Oh, the score is fine, but longtime readers will know that I have an issue with the fact that only a tiny group of guys get to score Hollywood films. It truly isn’t anything against Elfman or the others, they are doing good work (mostly) and I don’t fault them for taking the money, but let’s give someone else a crack every now and again. I mean, hey Hollywood, it actually makes you look bad. Don’t you get it?
This is just one of the worst big-budget releases I have seen in quite some time. A high-octane, whiz-bang opening and closing, well that’s nice, but that doesn’t make a solid film, action or otherwise. This is one bad, dull film, stay clear!
Story D- (There are a group of bad guys and we need to go kill them. Okay, sure but give us a little more to work with than that. Please.)
Acting C (The actors really don’t have much to work with as the script is pretty lame.)
Visuals C+ (There are definitely some good visuals in the film, as the explosions, gunplay and car chases are on target, but its not enough.)
Originality/Innovation F (One of the least original major releases in ages.)
Enjoyability Grade D-
Home Theater/HD Factor C
Overall Grade D- (The Kingdom is a big-budget film that has you asking where all the money went. It roughly broke even with its budget, but have no doubts, the studios see it as a flop. Spare yourself the grief that’s the bottom line.)