Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
New Spectre Poster Lands
Look out for that skull, 007!
Mahershala Ali Will Be Luke Cage's Cottonmouth
He'll be a big foe for our hero
Jason Momoa Starring In Braven
He's a lumberjack but he might not be okay for long...
Mark Ruffalo Says The Hulk Was Cut From Captain America: Civil War
No room for a Brucie bonus after a script change
Gerard Butler Finds The Headhunter's Calling
Business whizz meets personal crisis
New Trailer For The Lobster Simmers Online
Colin Farrell makes an excellent choice
Cate Blanchett Will Be Lucille Ball
In a new biopic written by Aaron Sorkin
Ansel Elgort Finds Code Name Veil
Starring in the CIA drama
Cary Fukunaga Explains His Exit From It
'We didn't want to make the same movie...'
Uzo Aduba Joins American Pastoral
David Strathairn and more also aboard Ewan Mcgregor's film
Scott Cooper In Talks To Direct American Wolf
Leonardo DiCaprio wants him to tackle the story of a hunter and his accidental act
Pilou Asbæk Will Be Game Of Thrones' Euron Greyjoy
The Danish actor will appear in season six
Edward Ashley Heads For The Lost City Of Z
Joining his In The Heart Of The Sea co-star Tom Holland
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
05 October 2007
Return Of The Kingdom
Foxx, Garner and Mann out for premiere
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
The Kingdom (1996)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Edinburgh Sees The Kingdom
Berg's latest is Festival Surprise Movie

23 August 2007  |  Written by Alan Morrison  

submit to reddit

Audiences at the Edinburgh International Film Festival were among the first in the world to see The Kingdom, when Peter Berg’s explosive action thriller was unveiled as the programme’s unnamed Surprise Movie on Wednesday night. The film – starring Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Chris Cooper – follows an FBI team who head to Riyadh to work with Saudi police after a terrorist attack kills over 100 American citizens in a supposedly secure compound.

No disrespect to Berg – who draws great performances out of his cast and handles the action scenes with tremendous skill – but The Kingdom looks, sounds and feels like a Michael Mann movie. And, indeed, Mann is one of the producers. The opening car bomb attack on the compound is devastatingly realistic, but it’s when the good guys start closing in on the bad guys in a built-up downtown Riyadh neighbourhood that the gunplay really resembles Mann at his best.

Overall, The Kingdom plays like Syriana with beefed-up West Wing politics and increased firepower. On a political level, when it opens it won’t so much be Operation Desert Storm as Operation Shitstorm, when accusations begin to fly about American imperialism and an anti-Islamic bias. Which, in this case, is nonsense. The film is anti-fundamentalist, but in no way anti-Muslim. The two bravest characters in the film are Saudi police officers. In fact, let’s start a campaign now to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Ashraf Barhoum, who plays the dedicated Colonel Al-Ghazi.

In previous years, Edinburgh’s Surprise Movie slot has been filled by Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, LA Confidential, Spirited Away and The Bourne Identity. The Kingdom itself opens at the end of September in the US and is slated for an October 5 general release in the UK. By a handy coincidence, one of the film’s stars, Chris Cooper, flies into Edinburgh on Thursday for an audience interview session tied into the Festival’s screening of Breach. No doubt he will now have to field a few questions about The Kingdom as well.

Check back for the full Empire review, still to come.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

World Exclusive: The New Wall-E Trailer
This kicks shiny metal butt!
Gugino Joins De Niro and Pacino
In crime drama A Righteous Kill

Your Comments

Looks Awesome
Very much a smart looking movie in the vein of Michael Mann - and that can only be a good fucking thing. More

Posted by AboyNamedSue at 15:34 on 27 August 2007 | Report This Post

JASON BATEMAN!!!!!! That is all. More

Posted by Leomuse at 23:46 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post

Pants Trailer
I hope it is as good as you say, because the trailer made it look like America against the world: noble FBI being hampered by sneaky Saudis. Turned me right off. More

Posted by Burglarman at 16:43 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post

The Trailer Doesn't Display This As Good
Just saw the trailer for the kingdom on Apple Movie Trailers. Hmmm! Not so sure. Doesn't look very good and I never liked Jamie Foxx so I doubt I'll be paying to go see this. Might wait for the dvd and even then I don't know if i'll bother with this... More

Posted by Filmfreak666 at 16:34 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
Spoiler warning next time you gobdaw. More

Posted by talpacino at 16:23 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post

I saw this film last night and would say it is ok, I would give it 2 stars out of 5, the film could have been a hell of a lot better and more original, Direction and action were good but the story sucked, the story was very one sided, the Americans being the good guys, the Arabs the bad guys and of course it had all the usual clichés, 4 indestructible FBI team members who can kick more ass than a battalion of Navy SEALS with air support, not to mention the fact that they all survive at the More

Posted by smack at 16:05 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post

I feel very harsh and shallow saying this but The Kingdom looks very boring. Sorry. More

Posted by mattchoman at 15:12 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post

saw the tralier not so sure about this might watch it out of respect to both Cooper and Fox More

Posted by Tony Soprano at 14:19 on 23 August 2007 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Wes Craven: Film By Film
Empire celebrates the late, great horror director

My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)