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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Three Kings


****

A tale of the First Gulf War, the film's narrative is told through the eyes of three American soldiers (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube), whose ignorance, greed and naivete is wiped away as they are dragged deeper into the political and cultural sources behind the war. What begins as a mission to reclaim $25 million plus in stolen Kuwaiti gold bullion from a village of Rebels becomes a perilous, deadly journey across the desert, disobeying orders in order to get the Rebels and gold over the border into Iran and safe from Saddam's army.

This is some really sensitive stuff to bring to the screen, and is now even riskier to air on TV now, eleven years on, as British and American troops are being killed on an almost daily basis in Afghanistan. Three Kings, however, makes it accessible and gripping thanks to a snappy screenplay, that is consistently energetic in pace, breaking the gritty, serious dialogue at regular intervals with slick gun fights that will keep you rooted to your seat, thanks to the fast editing, dizzying camera work, and shots from the bullet's perspective (slowed down for impact); dazzling visuals - not just the just mentioned gun fights, but the destruction of cars and helicopters, done with explosive effect, and the heart gripping tear gas scene; and some very good comic relief, in the first half hour especially, which comes from the banter between the characters.

Clooney, Wahlberg and Cube are all very powerful in their roles, bringing strength and confidence to their performances, and making the characters' mission so heartfelt and gripping. An assured juggling of tone and genre this film is - it's part war story, part heist thriller, strongly political and wholly antiwar creed - but it's impossible for the film to start falling apart at the seams, as one would expect, but is consistently strong, gripping, confident and powerful.


1999.
15.
Stars:
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, Cliff Curtis, Nora Dunn, Said Taghmaoui, Mykelti Williamson, Holt McCallany, Judy Greer, Liz Stauber.

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Film, Best Director (David O. Russell).

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