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Three Kings (1999)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: October 01, 1999
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell
Producers: Paul J. Witt, Charles Roven
Actors:
George Clooney
Mark Wahlberg
Ice Cube
Spike Jonze
Plot:
Operation Desert Storm has just ended. Now, four military men find a map leading to the gold stolen by Saddam Hussein in a prisoner's ass, and decide to take it upon themselves to find the stash and retire in wealth upon their return home. But what do you know...things are never that simple.
Critique:
This film is like no other "war film" that I have ever seen. Sure, it does actually take place after the war, and isn't necessarily based on action or heavy machine gun shootouts, but you can still consider it a war movie considering the goings-on in the film. It's got a style, a feel, a unique look, unlike any of those other murky combat flicks. Could it be the fact that it actually toys with comedy as much as it does drama? Perhaps...although I personally found some of the humor to be misplaced in a film with so many disturbing images. Having said that, this film is no SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (8/10) in that regard either, it actually presents us with various original scenarios featuring gun fights which I have never encountered before in any film. Very interesting to watch. It also decided to show us, in graphic detail, what a bullet does to someone after it enters their body. Kind of icky to see, but interesting nonetheless.

That aside, this film basically offers us a unique war perspective with some decent action scenes, a creative style, some good humor, a spic-and-span ending, but not much more than that. The acting performances were also very good, with George Clooney really coming into his own with this picture. Wahlberg also comes through, despite another gratuitous shot of him running around without his top (Who am I kidding, if I had half the six-pack that bastard's got stacked, I'd be going to work without my shirt every day!). Even Ice Cube and Spike Jonze (That's right, the music video director!) got into the act with some pretty effective scenarios. The film as a whole worked for me because I was never bored while watching it, enjoyed its creative take on many Hollywood staple scenes, and was even a little touched here and there. Not a great film, but certainly one worthy of earning your hard-earned cash in the local movie houses.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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