Saturday, October 13, 2007

Team America World Pol... oh wait, sorry, this is The Kingdom

You can't not have heard of this Peter (Welcome to the Jungle) Berg directed movie about a terrorist attack on US citizens in Saudi-Arabia and the subsequent investigation and eventual terrorist-massacre by Team Amer... (sorry there I go again) by the FBI.

This was a misfire of epic proportions. Berg was apparently trying to create a poignant and meaningful drama set in the middle-east but that's not what the audience got (thankfully).

I'll explain, Matthew Michael Carnahan's script follows a vengeance-minded FBI forensics agent: Denzel wannabe Jamie Foxx (delivering a Denzel wannabe performance) who breaks ranks with his US superiors and blackmails his way into Saudi with his team of Chris Cooper (recently forgiven for American Beauty), the ever oh-so-hot Jennifer Garner (right) and the mostly redundant Jason Bateman. They investigate a suicide bombing at an American compound in Saudi Arabia with the aid of a sympathetic local cop Colonel Faris Al-Ghazi played by Ashraf Barhom who I believe stole the show and upstaged his American colleagues at every turn.

Berg uses the bible of his producer Michael Mann with regard to characters existentially being defined by their jobs and over-use of over-the-shoulder subjective shots. Unfortunately it is evident that Berg is not Mann as the story's amalgamation of deep character scenes and well-researched information dumps drags along more awkwardly than it should.

While this doesn't sound like a movie to behold, it is in it's third act that the whole mess is elevated from 1.5 to 4.5 stars!!! Viewers will be blown away by an extended action sequence that plays out like a genuinely angry revenge fantasy. I was overjoyed by the true depiction of woggy as he really is; a threat to our way of life that should be exterminated like a rabid dog.

Final verdict: It is just slightly too much gung-ho American that it really needed to be (I know this is me saying this yes). It started out as a provocative think-piece that miraculously transforms into a jingoistic, squib-happy ass-kicker like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2


Anonymous said...

Final verdict: It is just slightly too much gung-ho American that it really needed to be (I know this is me saying this yes).

No it's not. The Lt.Col we know would never, ever..., ever, complain about too much gung-honess. Maybe one of those pod people, body snatchers from Nicole Kidman's movie, that the real Lt.Col reviewed, got him when he was on the set!?, Or maybe by accepting that you have a problem with Gun Porn, you have started a slow but inevitable process that will result in you becoming a..., a, dare I say it?, a democrat!

Pray that this aversion to ass-kicking is just a passing ailment.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

Seriously, the level of jingoism in this movie is more at home in a spoof comedy. If they elevate the "gung-honess" in "real" movies like this- then it will lessen the comedic impact of pro-US satire, I don't want that. Berg crossed the line.

Anonymous said...

"the level of jingoism", who are you and what have you done to the real Lt.Col?, Imposter!