Thursday, February 18, 2010
Three Kings (1999)
Three Kings is directed by David O. Russel and stars Mark Wahlberg, George Clooney, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze. It's a film which explores the topic of America's involvement in the Persian Gulf War, for a few brief moments that is. The rest of the film contains elements of the Western Genre, slap stick comedy, and full on action. Throw in a few pop culture references for good measure.
The plot: It's the day after the Gulf War ceasefire, soldiers are celebrating with bubbly. During the day, the Iraqi soldiers are surrendering themselves over to the Americans. Army Reserve Sergeant First Class Troy Barlow (Wahlberg) finds a map showing bunkers, and instead of showing it to his superiors, he shows it to his freinds Private First Class Conrad Vig (Jonze) and Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin (Cube). Major Archie Gates (Clooney) finds out about the map, and decides to join the party. He believes that the bunkers hold Kuwaiti gold which was stolen by Saddam. Under the ceasefire, the gold is to be returned to Kuwait. The four soldiers plan on taking the gold for themselves. Under the ceasefire, the Iraqi soldiers will have no problem handing over the gold. But while this happens, the four soldiers witness cruelty and murder at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers towards Iraqi Shia rebels who have risen against Saddam's regime but were abandoned by the Coalition. The soldiers who had planned on taking the gold and running, are forced with a moral dilema.
I liked the brief commentaries in this film about the nature of America's involvement in the Gulf War. Bush asks the ordinary citizens of Iraq to stand up and fight Saddam, he promises that the army will be stand by them. They stand up to the tyranny, turns out the American army has turned it's back on them, now the rebels are being slaughtered. Not surprising. There's also a more realistic approach to portraying the soldiers. They're not exacly good, honest men. Some are looking for a quick profit, stealing gold bullion.
Overall, I liked this film alot. There's alot of great humour in it. It's not all preachy about morals and what not, but it does make you stop and think as well. Some good, and not so good performances. Great cinematography, well unique. Overall, very enjoyable.