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The Blonde and The Maven Review “The Kingdom”

Ashraf Barhoum, Chris Cooper and Jamie Foxx in Universal Pictures' The Kingdom - 2007

Starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner, “The Kingdom” details a horrific attack on an American compound in Saudi Arabia that leaves 100 people dead and 200 injured. The Saudis consider this a local affair and will investigate the crime themselves. FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury doesn't like that idea. He is portrayed by Jamie Foxx (“Ray” and “Collateral”). Fleury assembles a team to investigate the attack and goes behind the State Department’s back to get his team over there. Explosives expert, Grant Sykes is played by Chris Cooper (“Adaptation” and “Breach”) and forensics investigator, Janet Myers is portrayed by Jennifer Garner (“13 Going On 30” and “Elektra,” as well as Ben Affleck’s wife). Once in Saudi Arabia, the team finds their job difficult to accomplish until the man in charge of their security helps them. He is Colonel Al Ghazi, played by Israeli actor, Ashraf Barhom, (“Paradise Now,” 2003 Best Foreign Film). Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights” and “The Rundown”) directed this film, and he has a small cameo in the beginning. See if you can spot him!

The Blonde: This was an important film. The acting was terrific, the casting was dead on, and the directing was brilliant. This was not an easy film to put together. The camera style made the visual affects incredibly real. They accomplished something very rare here. However, the movie was hard for me to watch. It just proves the old adage, when will we ever learn? Why is killing a must after all these years?

The Maven: I liked the documentary-style camera work Peter Berg used in most of the film. There was more realism to the shots. It felt like it took place on the streets of Riyadh, but I read that it was shot entirely here in the USA, mostly in Arizona. The buildings looked identical to the real apartment buildings that were blown up. I thought Jamie’s character was a little over the top, kind of like Chuck Norris. I was especially impressed with Ashraf Barhom. The storyline dealing with the culture clash was enlightening.

The Blonde: Speaking of culture crash, when will we ever be rid of the trials (literally) and tribulations of OJ and all the rest. Kudos, however, to Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize! YEAH!

The Maven: Al’s Nobel Peace Prize is well-deserved. On the whole, I think Al has been more effective outside the Oval office. He has shined a light on a subject which has been ignored for too long.

The Blonde: You put it succinctly! Going with my culture crash feelings, What about Ann Coulter and her comment that “Jews need to be perfected”?

The Maven: For those of you who don’t watch cable news, The Blonde is referring to an interview on CNBC, “The Big Idea” with Donny Deutsch.” Ann Coulter blurted out that Jews “need to be perfected.” She believes that if Jews took the New Testament to heart, they would become Christians. Perfect. Just Google “Ann Coulter Jews” and you will find a site which will quote the whole interview. It will be quite illuminating!

The Blonde: She makes me sick! Not only that, but she gives all of us intelligent, decent, hardworking blondes a bad name!

The Maven: Back to reality, although “The Kingdom” isn't a film that would win any awards, I will still recommend seeing it. It was nice to see us (Americans) working with a Middle Eastern country and accomplishing something. Revenge or justice feels good sometimes. The action was played out well, the actors played their parts well and the story was interesting. I rate this film a C+; the C for its coming at a time when we could use it, and a plus for the great direction. By the way, Blonde, I said culture clash, not culture crash!

The Blonde: Oh, never mind! I agree with you about your working well with others comment. Too bad it was just a movie! I too rate this film a C+. Lots of snacks are needed to get you through this film, so don’t forget a big bucket of popcorn. By the way, Ann Coulter still makes me sick! 

The Maven: Speaking of sick, let us take a moment to bow our heads for Britney. She is really messing up royally and, let's face it… in a world where Kevin Federline looks to be a better parental figure than his former wife, we are really in trouble. What will we do for headlines when Brit gets her life together? Do you think the Blackwater debacle will get the attention it deserves? I mean,†$700 million spent on security guards (and I mean that loosely, as they are mostly mercenaries)†that shoot the people they are training as well as civilians, well, that should be a leading news story! But no…we have to hear every detail about Britney's mess. Sorry, Blonde, I am just a little frustrated. 

The Blonde: Well, thank you for clearing that up for me! I wasn’t drinking water for weeks. I thought they were telling us the water was black so I stopped drinking tap and switched to bottled. Okay, what now about the security guards?

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