Arabian Knights; THE BIG PICTURE the Kingdom (Cert 15) Starring: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman and Jeremy Piven; Director Peter Berg. 110 Mins Rating: **** Film

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 5, 2007 | Go to article overview

Arabian Knights; THE BIG PICTURE the Kingdom (Cert 15) Starring: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman and Jeremy Piven; Director Peter Berg. 110 Mins Rating: **** Film


Byline: Philip Key

FOR A second time, the so-called War on Terror supplies the plot for a Hollywood movie. Unlike the fact-based A Mighty Heart, however, The Kingdom is pure fiction with lots of big bangs and gun battles.

Director Peter Berg and scriptwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan do attempt to give The

Kingdom a sense of reality and, for much of the time, it works.

The uneasy mixture of politics and violence in the Middle East is sensitively explored but is eventually abandoned in favour of gung-ho American heroics.

While it does put the film out of kilter, it does provide an undeniably exciting finale.

The credit sequence gives a very brief documentary-style rundown of the history of Saudi Arabia where the film is mostly set, perhaps lacking in detail but useful for those who like a historical setting.

We are thrown into the action immediately as terrorists invade a Western compound in Saudi Arabia and blow up oil workers and their families while they are enjoying a picnic. In Washington, officials are unwilling to investigate the blast because of political issues, but FBI specialist Ronald Fleury (played by Jamie Foxx) is determined to seek out the perpetrators, partly because a colleague has been killed in the blast.

He uses his own Saudi contacts to circumnavigate Washington and get permission to take a small investigative team in with him for just a few days.

This is like one of the teams from the CSI television series with people like a forensic pathologist (Jennifer Garner) and bomb expert Chris Cooper.

Once in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, however, they meet a wall of official disapproval with only police chief Faris Al Ghazi (sensitively played by Ashraf Barhom) willing to offer minimum help. …

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Arabian Knights; THE BIG PICTURE the Kingdom (Cert 15) Starring: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman and Jeremy Piven; Director Peter Berg. 110 Mins Rating: **** Film
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