The Kingdom is one of those movies that require a hush as the credits roll. No conversations. No cheap comments about how good the movie was. Just silent contemplation. The value of life. How quickly it dissipates. How easily a new generation of hate grows to replace the old. Just a few, simple words, spoken at a time of great loss. "Don't fear them, my child. We are going to kill them all."
Those haunting last words as the film closes on the face of a boy destined to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather. And as the credits roll, you experience an impending sense of doom that can only come from seeing the innocent face of a future enemy.
Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner all delivered believable performances. The real gems of this film were Ashraf Barhom and Ali Suliman. As Saudi policemen, they evoked deeply exotic mysteries about Saudi culture, thought, belief, and reality.
As a whole, the film was well shot. The settings were dusty and frightening… mission accomplished. We Americans know next to nothing about Middle Eastern culture. We are both wooed and terrified of it. And in the end, both sides respond to killing with a vow to kill. The bloodshed will not cease. Of this we can be certain. And we can grieve.
It tells the tale of a story bigger than us. Bigger than our selfishness or desire for creature comforts. We are invited to despise ourselves just a little over how easy life can be in America… and how sheltered we are from the rest of the world.
If you have a problem with seeing people get shot, this isn't for you. Otherwise, you probably should not miss this film. And while you watch it, ask yourself whether you understand these people well enough to judge them. Ask yourself if maybe a six month visit and immersion in their culture wouldn't serve to show you that there is more than one way to look at life.