Set in Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom
is a political action thriller with good acting and wonderful visuals. Its so-so script, though, at times meanders aimlessly until a good explosion jolts the viewer's attention back to the screen. Jamie Foxx
stars as FBI special agent Ronald Fleury, who leads an elite team into Saudi Arabia to find the terrorists who attacked American employees working in the Middle East. He has been given the unlikely deadline of five days to infiltrate the compound, with just his wit and his crew, which includes forensics expert Janet Mayes (Jennifer Garner
), explosives guru Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper
), and intelligence analyst Adam Leavitt (Jason Bateman
). It's unclear how helpful smarmy U.S. diplomat Damon Schmidt (Jeremy Piven
) will be, but Fleury knows enough to surmise that the media-hungry Schmidt might not be completely trustworthy. Foxx and Garner have wonderful screen presence, but it's Bateman and Piven who get the best lines. Director Peter Berg peppers The Kingdom
with actors he has worked with in the past. Berg, who guest-starred on Alias
opposite Garner, casts Tim McGraw in a small role here. (The country singer also had a co-starring role in Berg's 2004 film Friday Night Lights
.) And Kyle Chandler and Minka Kelly--two of Berg's lead actors from the Friday Night Lights
television series, , make appearances in The Kingdom.
The action sequences he creates are impressive and generate a sense of panic that The Kingdom
producer Michael Mann (Miami Vice
) undoubtedly applauds. While a tauter script would've rounded out the action nicely, the action in many cases does speak for itself. --Jae-Ha Kim
Thriller starring Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper. When a terrorist bomb detonates inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an international incident is ignited. While diplomats slowly debate equations of territorialism, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Foxx) quickly assembles an elite team and negotiates a secret five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the madman behind the bombing. Upon landing in the desert kingdom, however, Fleury and his team discover Saudi authorities suspicious and unwelcoming of American interlopers into what they consider a local matter. Hamstrung by protocol, and with the clock ticking on their five days, the FBI agents find their expertise worthless without the trust of their Saudi counterparts who want to locate the terrorist in their homeland on their own terms. Fleury's crew finds a like-minded partner in Saudi Police Captain Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom), who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene and the workings of an extremist hell bent on further destruction.