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  With the Vietnam conflict it took a few years before any film makers touched the subject, but now Hollywood doesn’t seem so cautious with a batch of films coming out in the next few years looking at the current situation in the middle east.  Director and some time actor Peter Berg brings us The Kingdom a film set in Saudi Arabia, where a lot of American Oil workers live in a strictly guarded compound away from the rest of the population. Until a group of terrorists infiltrate the area and set off a shocking attack on a family baseball match with guns and a suicide bomber, followed by a horrendous bomb. All this is being filmed by the terrorists who then put it on the net. Back in the US a special FBI team lead by Jamie Foxx want to go in and investigate but are being prevented by political and safety concerns.  Eventually the team of Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman get the permission of the Prince to come to the country but soon find they are being stopped at every turn as the Saudi’s try to save face. This is shown by the Saudi officer who is assigned to Foxx’s team, who trys to hinder them but soon starts to warm to them and help them.

  The film is a weird mixture of action and political drama, but does work. The clash of cultures is very interesting and resonant to today’s situation. The action side certainly does let down either, from the shocking opening attack to the breathtaking finale, it’s pretty intense. The cast don’t disappoint either with Foxx and Cooper showing why they are Oscar Winners, with Garner back in action mode from her Alias days, and Bateman providing some light relief in a serious film. The film provides an interesting insite to the middle east from both sides of the story as well as a great action story.  Rating 7/10

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