23 December 2007

'Kingdom' to come

I avoided the movie "The Kingdom" like the plague when it was in theaters. The first trailer I saw, some six months before its release, offended the hell out of me. An elite team of investigators flies into what looks like a war zone to track down a ruthless killer? Please. Yeah, lets find that one guy who killed a bunch of people, instead of concentrating on all the enemy soldiers.

Exploitative, I thought. Juvenile.

Turns out it was set in Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. Having finally broke down and seen the film, I actually thought it was pretty good. Is it exploitative in concept? Sure. But it's about as well-executed as you could do this film under the circumstances. The characters aren't, for the most part, one-dimensional. Not even the bad guys. And, of course, Chris Cooper automatically elevates the level of any film he's in.

It's out on DVD on Dec. 26, and you've been avoiding it for the same reasons I had, don't.

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