Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 29 November 1999 18:00
Local opening date: 9/28/207
Reviewed by Diane Carson
Political dramas risk alienating segments of their potential audience if they advocate a specific point of view. So Hollywood has honed the fine art of throwing bits and pieces to diverse positions, hoping ticket buyers will dismiss what grates on the nerves and embrace what reinforces their position. That seems to be the hope for director Peter Berg's The Kingdom, a gratuitous exploitation of anti-Saudi Arabia sentiment and the sharp fear of terrorism. Since we can't dominate on the ground, let's win in the movies.

And yet-- The Kingdom's haunting, lasting message is that revenge leads to revenge, and retaliation begets retaliation and it will never end. But before this poignant reminder arrives, The Kingdom will exploit violent payback fantasies and reinforce Americans as the smartest, toughest, greatest combatants. Here's the scenario.

The Kingdom begins with a horrendous massacre of American families stationed in Riyadh, enjoying themselves at a picnic, playing softball-so perfectly iconic a scene, so heartless an attack, so familiar from Iraqi news footage. But this time, it's in Saudi Arabia and perpetrated against us with a Saudi terrorist watching the attack from a distant building with a young boy. This is a parallel to Washington based FBI team head Ronald Fluery (Jamie Foxx) who has a great, loving relationship with his son. With a friend killed in the explosions, Fluery adamantly insists on and leads a crack investigative team, played well by Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman. They WILL find the perpetrators and make them pay. .

On the Saudi side, there are a few sympathetic men who fight alongside the Americans. But as the plot develops, Americans target the Saudis with snide remarks and numerous insults; for example, "Clues can be very useful in solving crime," the Americans note to the Arabs. And, just as in every action genre from westerns to the many wars idealized in films, the Americans shoot better and straighter and kill many more in action packed sequences. Equally to the point, the packed audience with whom I saw the film cheered out loud several times for Saudis to be killed, for a catharsis of more blood letting. So goes the plea for peace and The Kingdom's disingenuous tag that the vicious circle leads only to more death. The Kingdom fans the flames of frustration and pain, gives a four minute history lesson through the opening titles, and reinforces negative stereotypes while offering no complex insight into the politics that got us here in the first place. What a lost opportunity; what a waste of big money. At area theatres.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

1 user and 9953 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook