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The Kingdom Synopsis

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 (Oscar® winner Chris Cooper and Golden Globe winners Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) 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 Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum), who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene and the workings of an extremist cell bent on further destruction. With these unlikely allies sharing a propulsive commitment to crack the case, the team is led to the killer’s front door in a blistering do-or-die confrontation. Now in a fight for their own lives, strangers united by one mission won’t stop until justice is found in The Kingdom.

The only thing I’m sicker of than the our soldiers being killed in the Middle East is watching movies about it. Not because they’re bad, but because they’re all kind of useless. They’re all just reminders of how completely powerless we all are to do anything about what’s going on over there, and even if we did have any control over any of it, it’s pretty clear that nobody has any idea what the fuck to do. There are no answers, and Hollywood seems to take delight in reminding us all over and over again that when it comes to the Middle East we’re all screwed and there’s nothing we can do. We get it. Since there’s nothing we can do, shut up about it.

But Hollywood won’t shut up, because like driving a Prias, endlessly reminding movie audiences of how much the world sucks gives them a warm sense of self-satisfaction. So here’s The Kingdom, from talented director Peter Berg with a loaded cast of almost certain to be Prias owners. Ignoring how depressing the whole Middle East situation is, the film has potential. Jamie Foxx could use another decent flick and hey, I remember Jennifer Garner. Didn’t she used to be famous? Maybe The Kingdom will be a winner with critics but I have a hard time audiences want to sit through this an more than they want to sit through another news report about how screwed the United States is in Iraq.

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