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Kino Korner August 10, 2007
Preview Review: The Kingdom
Is it a Jesus flick, or what? By Yasha Levine Browse author Email

In theaters September 28

Going by the title, it's hard to tell if this is going to be another one of those Jesus flicks or not. It's not. The Kingdom in the title doesn't refer to the Kingdom that gave us Pat Robertson, but the Kingdom that gave us bin Laden. A cross between CSI, Team America, and Blackhawk Down, the movie revolves around a can-do American forensic team in the heart of Sunni darkness, Saudi Arabia.

The trailer opens with a typical Happy Sunday in America scene: A bunch of white suburbanites playing softball. But wait! This isn't some leafy park in San Jose. A huge text plate lets us know these oil company employees are playing in one of those fortified Western housing complexes in Saudi Arabia. That's when shit hits the air-conditioning unit.

The Kingdom

A bunch of towel heads storm the field and butcher every last man, woman and child. Then they suicide bomb the place to bits. But this isn't a terrorism attack, as an FBI agent says in the preview - "This is serial murder." And Uncle Sam needs to find the murderer. That's about as much as the first trailer gives away. There are a total of three previews out there; the second one is a bit less mysterious. Here are the rapid fire quotes: "There was a suicide bomber attack on Americans ... 100-plus killed ... Over 200 injured ... The FBI would like an evidence response team in Saudi Arabia now ... I want you to find out who did this!"

Next thing you know, an FBI forensics team - headed up by the Oscar-ific Ray Charles impresario Jamie Foxx, hot Alias babe Jennifer Garner (in a tight camo-t with bouncing, bulging sacs), and a few other Hollywood B-listers - is running around Saudi Arabia shouting commands at the Saudi police and conferring with the king. They have to find the guy behind the attacks - stupidly named Abraham, who is "like ghost," a mullah tells them - before he strikes again. The Kingdom pussies out here by refusing to call Abraham by his real name: bin Laden. I guess it's not tactful to remind moviegoers that America's Enemy #1 still on the loose, while we're losing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or maybe the Saudis are co-financing the movie. Who knows.

The second trailer gets confusing at this point and I didn't have the stomach to watch the third for clarification. But one thing's clear: the FBI's convoy is attacked and a male FBI agent is kidnapped. The FBI forensics team, backed up by a crazy Saudi police commander, then dives into a dense towel-head slum feared even by Saudi police to save him. There are some explosions, some RPG action, and a hint of a torture scene.

Do they rescue him? Well, you gotta watch the movie to find out, but judging by the ending, in which Garner gives a lollypop to little towel-head girl, they do manage to at least make some friends in the Arab world. Everyone knows Sunnis have a sunny disposition.

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Yasha Levine is an editor at The eXile. You can contact him at

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The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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