Movie Details

The KINGDOM

A team of U.S. counter-terrorism investigators set out to find the perpetrators behind a deadly attack on Americans in a Middle Eastern country. In order to work through the bureaucracy and cultural hostility, the team enlists a local police officer, but still find itself target for the terrorists.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 22 Nov 2007
Genre: Action / Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
Distributor: United International Pictures
Cast: Jeremy Piven, Tim McGraw, Danny Huston, Richard Jenkins
Director:
Format: 35MM

[More]

Watch the latest trailers or view more videos here
Review
Writer: Lim Chang Moh

Writer Ratings:
Overall:
Cast:
Plot:
Effects:
Cinematography:

Watch this if you liked: "Lions For Lambs", "Syriana" and "Black Hawk Down"

"The Kingdom" starts off with a brief lesson on US relations with Saudi Arabia from the 1930s when oil was discovered in the Arab kingdom, to the events of Sept 11 2001. Saudi Arabia, we are told, is the main exporter of oil - and America is the top consumer.

Next, we are taken to a secure community in Riyadh where foreign oil workers live with their families. This seemingly idyllic setting, of children playing softball and picnicking near the playground, is about to be turned into a war zone. Posing as local policemen, suicide bombers infiltrate the compound, shoot at the residents and blow themselves up - killing more than 100 people, including two FBI agents.

The effects of this disaster are soon felt in Washington, where FBI special agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) prepares his forensic team for an on-site investigation. The team comprises of pathologist Janet Mayes (Jennifer Garner); computer geek Adam Leavitt (Jason Bateman); and explosives expert Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper). After exercising some smart political manoeuvres, Ronald is allowed to fly to the kingdom but he must be constantly guided and guarded by Saudi police colonel Faris Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom), who is more concerned about the safety of his charges than in solving the crime.

With only a few days to complete his mission, Ronald finds his job hampered by political constraints and the lack of witnesses. Are the fears for the safety of the Americans justified, or is this a ruse to thwart their investigation?

Directed by Peter Berg, this 'whodunit' almost works like a 'Rambo in Saudi Arabia' caper, with a wishful revisionist scenario for the American response to fundamentalist terrorism. Unlike the Rambo flicks, however, the action here is rendered more intelligently and realistically, aided in no small way by the professional interactions between Ronald and Faris. After the initial mutual suspicions are overcome, Ronald begins to understand the problems of Faris' job, and Faris, on the other hand, understands the FBI agent's priorities.
Both "The Kingdom" and "Lions For Lambs" are written by Matthew Michael Carnahan but the former is a lot more engaging because it takes viewers right into the thick of the action instead of just talking about civic responsibilities and the 'right of engagement'. There are also some clever touches, like showing how terrorist bombs are made, how hostages are used for propaganda purposes, and how some US politicians (like the Attorney-General, played by Danny Huston) are so out-of-touch with actual events.

However, what I like about "The Kingdom" is that it is not an anti-Muslim propaganda but an insight into the precarious political situation that the two sides find themselves in. Like in "Black Hawk Down", there is a tensed and suspenseful shootout in which the FBI agents are trapped in a tenement block full of women, children and armed men. This climactic sequence should satisfy the demands of action fans, just as the performances of the accomplished cast complement the plot.

Director Berg closes the movie with a fitting food for thought: Asked what was on the minds of Ronald and a terrorist leader as they were about to confront their enemy, they both share the same sentiments. Leaders with causes should chew on them.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
You can now proceed to book tickets at Shaw Cinema, click the link below to continue.
Showtimes are subject to change. Please double check Movie title, location and timing again before completing your purchase.
Ok      Cancel
You are now leaving Cinema Online's website.
You can now proceed to book tickets at Golden Village Cinema, click the link below to continue.
Showtimes are subject to change. Please double check Movie title, location and timing again before completing your purchase.
Ok      Cancel
You are now leaving Cinema Online's website.
You can now proceed to book tickets at Cathay Cineplexes, click the link below to continue.
Showtimes are subject to change. Please double check Movie title, location and timing again before completing your purchase.
Ok      Cancel
You are now leaving Cinema Online's website.
You can now proceed to book tickets at Filmgarde Cineplexes, click the link below to continue.
Showtimes are subject to change. Please double check Movie title, location and timing again before completing your purchase.
Ok      Cancel
You are now leaving Cinema Online's website.
You can now proceed to book tickets at WE Cinema, click the link below to continue.
Showtimes are subject to change. Please double check Movie title, location and timing again before completing your purchase.
Ok      Cancel
You are now leaving Cinema Online's website.