Three Kings Reviews
Directed by David O. Russell, this is a movie based on a true story about three American servicemen during the Gulf War who hatch a plan to make off with a stash of Kuwaiti gold stolen by Saddam Hussein. The three initially decide to make off with the fortune, but the closer they get to finding it, the more they realize the truth and consequences about the role of the U.S. in the part of the world, and the realities of American foreign policy. These revelations have profound impacts on the men, forcing them all to make some tough choices and evaluations.
While the set up alone is great, what makes the movie really shine is how ambitious it is in terms of genre classification. It's humorous (at times), quite serious and dramatic at others, and in general a really scathing socio/political satire. Oh eyah, it's also a war film, too. It's a mix that doesn't always work, but manages to in this case, thanks in no small part to the skill of the director.
It's not all on him, though. The script is quite great, and very intelligent, the casting is top notch, with the three leads of George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube all delivering very fine work, providing nicely rounded and developed characters. Yes, even Ice Cube (for those who doubt he actually does having acting skills).
The action scenes are well done, and don't upstage the meat of the picture, the camerawork and editing are pretty good, and the fact that the film finds a nice balance between entertaining and enlightening is remarkable.
Definitely give this one a shot, it's terrific.
Maybe because ive seen so many war movies that they arent as interesting as they first were and now im bored of watching the same recycled storyline!
It has a fine cast and is well made, without feeling like a hollywood blockbuster. It has the right mix of action and drama, even a bit of humour too.
Mark Wahlberg gives one of his finest performances here as Troy Barlow; one of the most earnest soldiers who basically has no idea what is going on. He's just so naïve in terms of the political agenda, but at the same time has a better understanding of human life than anyone else. This is the kind of role that Mark Wahlberg works best in because his emotions are so believable and he just comes off as a living, breathing person; not a character. George Clooney as Gates is basically the opposite of Troy and is so numb and cynical about the world that it seems like he just doesn't care, but his true self becomes obvious when he sees the terrible situation that the Iraqis are in. George Clooney is great when he's able to be himself; unbelievably charming and salt and peppery. Ice Cube and Spike Jonze do a nice job here too and present some of the best comedic relief in the movie, but also bring some of the most dramatic moments too.
Visually, Three Kings is just unbelievable. It changes its style so many times depending on the emotion it wants to show off, but in no way does it ruin the experience for the viewer. In fact, it enhances the way we watch the movie and see everything. Some of the hand held sots look spooky and almost too close to a documentary, rather than fiction. The blending of this with sporadically intense scenes and moments in which we connect with these characters the most is so powerful and sets this apart from your straight-forward war movie.
It starts as a satire on Gulf war, picks up its pace to shift into an action-adventure gear and finishes off the ride almost as an emotional drama with a human touch.
This is a great film. I was interested the whole time. The story is very real and touching, but also one that is still relevant today. It is filled with so much conflict....many people would benefit from viewing this film. Yes, it is only a movie, but I think it's an honest portrayal of some of the complexity of the Persian Gulf War. I recommend this film to everyone.
By the way, how many great movies has Mark Wahlberg been in? He can't be stopped.