Frank Connor/Universal Studios
Jennifer Garner plays a forensics expert in
Jennifer Garner plays a forensics expert in The Kingdom. Frank Connor/Universal Studios
Set in Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom is a film about American good guys going toe to toe with followers of terrorist Abu Hamsa.
The film opens almost literally with a bang — with sounds of bombs going off in an American housing compound, killing and wounding hundreds watching a softball game.
Wait — softball? Is nothing sacred to these people?
Peter Berg's film stars Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman; there's no getting around the effectiveness of its final half hour, in which good and bad fight to the death in the most vivid hand-to-hand way. But though The Kingdom wants us to feel we're watching something relevant, it's a film that doesn't want us to think, doesn't trust us to feel on our own, and is willing to strip the narrative of nuance like it was a disease.
Despite nods to right-thinking Saudis, The Kingdom's heart is in its vivid portrait of malevolent Arabs — which means you'll feel your humanity being diminished as you watch all those evildoers getting blown away.