Long Story Short: George Clooney, Ice Cube and Mark Wahlberg are Desert Storm soldiers that try their best to steal Saddam’s gold while at the same time freeing the oppressed masses. They may be pretty boys but in this movie they’re some bad-ass dudes.
Three Kings (Warner Bros.) is a rare experience because it is a movie that is truly original. There isn’t one movie category it fits. At first I considered Three Kings an action movie, then I thought about it a little more and called it a war movie, then I realized that it had elements of a buddy-comedy. Well, I guess it’s a combination of all three. Clooney, Cube and Wahlberg convincingly play the roles of close friends tearing through the Persian Gulf in search of Saddam Hussein’s stolen gold.
The movie is visually incredible. Action sequences are intense and come at a breakneck pace. The fear does not come from the loud cracks of the guns, it comes from the inescapable speed and fury with which their bullets travel.
On a lighter note, there are some funny moments mainly involving a goofy, redneck sidekick played by Spike Jonze.
Three Kings also brings up some serious issues. Americans went into the Middle East calling themselves heroes. Still, in Iraq, innocent citizens were killed, and families were broken by violence. This film is entertaining, but it also makes you question the motives of the U.S. policing the world.
This is not a war movie. The only “battle” sequence is the three-minute opening scene. From there, it turns into a heist movie with a Desert Storm backdrop and an anti-war message. Pretty unique I’d say. So is the rest of the movie.
The anti-war message isn’t necessarily subtle, but it is effective. A caper flick with something to say is quite rare. What’s also quite different is the way in which the story is told. Everything is graphic, leaving nothing to the imagination. For instance, Clooney describes the “real” danger of bullets is in the infection they cause if the wound is not fatal. As he dictates, we follow the bullet into the body, into the organs, and see a hyper-speed infection in process. As Wahlberg sits captive, his prisoner describes how he lost his family to an American bomb as they slept. This is mirrored on screen by Wahlberg’s imagination of the same thing happening to his wife and infant child, safe at home in suburban America.
Whether you’re looking for a well-acted creative movie with good social commentary or one that just says its cool to steal stuff, Three Kings is the way to go.