Three Kings is a most intriguing and thought-provoking "war film" I have seen in a long time. I even hesitate to call it a "war film" as if anything, it's an "anti-war" film of quite an intense nature that I had probably unfairly believed Hollywood was incapably of making.
It's the end of the first Gulf War and in the first few confused days of the cease fire part-time American soldiers Sgt Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg), Chief Elgin (Ice Cube) and Pte Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze) find themselves in possession of what is basically a treasure map showing the way to a mountain of stolen Kuwaiti gold bullion. Enter Maj Archie Gates (George Clooney) on the scene, and a madcap plan is hatched to "repossess" the gold for, let's just say, unofficial purposes.
What then unfolds is a roller coaster ride of death and destruction as the 4 mavericks attempt to track down and steal the gold and make their getaway. There's certainly a huge slice of typical gun toting war action involved here, and it's superbly filmed, and there's also some excellent black humour thrown amongst these, but this is really missing the point of the film.
The main point of the film is the scene after scene of intense acting showing the futility, the barbarity, the unfairness and the downright dirtiness of war. Whether it's the crude scenes showing the American soldiers celebrating their "victory", the weakness and futile post-war instruction from George Bush Snr for the Iraqi people to rise up against Sadam, the cruelty suffered by the innocent civilians caught in the middle and the fact that at then end of the day it was all about oil.
Some of these scenes are extremely touching and very moving, one that is still most vivid is that when Sgt Barlow is being interrogated. I won't try to describe it, but the film is worth watching for this scene alone.
If you like a film to challenge as much as thrill with action then you could do a lot worse than check out this very intelligent film