A confident hybrid of M*A*S*H
, Treasure of the Sierra Madre
, and Dr. Strangelove
, Three Kings
is one of the most seriously funny war movies ever made. Improving the premise of Kelly's Heroes
with scathing intelligence, it explores the odd connection between war and consumerism in the age of Humvees and cellular phones. Writer-director David O. Russell's third film (after Spanking the Monkey
and Flirting with Disaster
) is a no-holds-barred portrait of personal conscience in the volatile arena of politics, played out by one of the most gifted filmmakers to emerge in the 1990s.
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze (director of Being John Malkovich) play a quartet of US soldiers who, disillusioned by Operation Desert Storm, decide to steal $23 million in gold hijacked from Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's army. Getting the bullion out of an Iraqi stronghold is easy; keeping it is a potentially lethal proposition. By the end of their mercenary mission, the Americans can no longer ignore war-time atrocities, and conscience demands their aid to Kuwaiti rebels abandoned by President George Bush's fickle war-time policy. This is serious stuff indeed, but Russell infuses Three Kings with a keen sense of the absurd, and the entire film is an exercise in breathtaking visual ingenuity. Despite a conventional ending that's mildly disappointing for such a brashly original film, Three Kings conveys the brutal madness of war while making you laugh out loud at the insanity. --Jeff Shannon
DVD Special Features
Dolby Digital 5.1
Commentary by director David O. Russell
Commentary by producers Charles Roven and Ed McDonnell
David O. Russell's Video Diary
Behind the scenes documentary, "Under the Bunker"
Featurette, "Tour of the Iraqi Village Set"
Featurette, "An Intimate Look at the Acting Process with Ice Cube"
Following the Gulf War, a group of American soldiers in Iraq find a mapwhich they hope will lead them to a large amount of gold near to their desert base.
From the Back Cover
The Gulf war is over - let the party begin! Saddam's army in Iraq has been annihilated, and US ground troops think it's high time to enjoy life a little. With celebrations in full flow, Special Forces veteran Major Archie Gates (George Clooney) has other things in mind: a captured Iraqi map revealing the location of millions of dollars of stolen Kuwaiti gold. With a motley band of soldiers in tow, including Troy (Mark Wahlberg - Boogie Nights
), Conrad (Spike Jonze - Being John Malkovich
) and Sergeant Elgin (Ice Cube - Friday
), Gates heads into the desert...and straight into the heart of desperate civil war. One misadventure leads to another, alternating between the grim reality of torture and dark humour, until the four soldiers' mission changes becoming an action-packed adventure you'll never forget.