Posted on 8/27/12 12:15 AM
Three Kings is set in 1991 near the end of the Gulf War. Three American servicemen (Clooney, Ice Cube and Wahlberg) are left wondering what they have achieved in Iraq. After discovering a map leading to some of Saddam's gold, the trio set out make their journey in Iraq end with a little bit of happiness. As they make their way through Iraq in pursuit of their gold they learn the consequences of the USA's involvement. What have they really achieved since Saddam is still in power? Obviously not much since Saddam's men are routinely imprisoning and murdering Iraqi up risers who attempted to stand up to Saddam at the urging of then President George Bush. Growing a conscience, the three men break the no fire treaty by firing on some of Saddam's men leading to severe consequences for the three men.
After Sergeant Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg) is captured, it's up to Chief Elgin (Ice Cube) and Major Gates (George Clooney) to save their fellow serviceman with Saddam's gold in tow. And they must do it with the help of disgruntled Iraqi citizen's looking for a way out of Iraq so that they will not be slaughtered by ruler Saddam Hussein.
The second half has some emotional scenes. During one of scenes where Barlow was captured, he is interrogated by a local Iraqi who reveals to Barlow that his little child was killed during the invasion. It carries a lot of weight as Barlow is perhaps the least understanding of the three men before hand. The least reluctant to act against the terrorism that Saddam's men inflicted on the up risers.
You get the feeling that Barlow feels like a man that has wasted his time in Iraq... And he doesn't truly understand the pain he and the USA has caused. This part of the film has a lot of bite. Some might think it's a simple finger pointing and lecturing aimed at the pro war trigger happy war supporters, but I thought it was well done and very emotional.
It all adds depth to the stylish and fun action which is actually pretty visceral. The ending is pretty hollywoodish, but I didn't really mind. It packed a good punch instead of being emotionally flat like most action film we get today. Thankfully it's the story that looks to provoke the emotional responses instead of sentimental music cues like we usually get ( Yes, I'm looking at you Michael Bay).
It's a great mix of satire, action, suspense and drama. It's amazing how cohesive the film is. I expected a routine action film from three popular actors and I'm proud to say that I was fooled. It's more surprising considering that there was apparently lots of problems onset. But it goes to show what such a talented cast and film crew can do. I tip my cap to everyone involved for making such an entertaining and thoughtful action/war film.