In the aftermath of a terrorist attack on an American civilian compound in Saudi Arabia, Jamie Foxx and his team of FBI investigators invite themselves over to solve the crime.
What we have here is your typical stranger in a strange land cop film relocated to the Middle East. The CSI style investigators wobbly-cam their way through the story bringing enlightenment to the ignorant, backward Saudis and deal out swift justice, American style. Despite the documentary style visual approach, The Kingdom is the biggest load of simplistic, patronising Gung Ho bullshit I’ve seen this side of a Rambo film. It makes no attempt to show the motivations or culture of the Saudis and even the US contingent are vacuous stereotypes doling out some pretty ugly violence – some of the most distasteful of which is actually perpetrated by Jennifer Garner. Instead of genuine depth it prefers manipulative close ups of children’s faces accompanied by sappy music and the “message” at the end is laughable.
The action is efficiently directed, but in essence The Kingdom is pretentious trash that reminded me of a straight-faced live action version of Team America: World Police.