[[caption-width-right:338:"We three kings be stealing the gold.."]]
''Three Kings'' is a 1999 movie directed by Creator/DavidORussell and starring Creator/GeorgeClooney, Music/IceCube, Creator/MarkWahlberg, and Creator/SpikeJonze.
It's a comedy/drama set during the Iraqi uprising at the end of the 1991 UsefulNotes/GulfWar, also known as Operation Desert Storm. During the surrender of Iraqi soldiers, one Iraqi soldier is found to be concealing a map that ends up showing the location of gold that Saddam Hussein had plundered from Kuwait.
The four American soldiers sneak away from the camp, sending their attached journalist on a wild goose chase with another soldier, in order to find and steal the gold. Naturally, wacky hijinks ensue and the four soldiers become involved in the uprising.
!!''Three Kings'' contains examples of:
* AMFMCharacterization: Conrad Vig wants to listen to heavy metal music while going into battle. Chief Elgin on the other hand criticizes his musical choice and suggest they go into battle with something soothing to calm their nerves and plays an easy-listening song, showing a definite personality clash.
* AssShove: How the TreasureMap is hidden. The map is consistently referred to as the "Iraqi ass-map".
* BatmanGambit: The soldiers and their rebel allies play this card on the guards of the Oasis Bunker, which holds Troy Barlow as a prisoner. Arriving in a fleet of luxury cars, one rebel [[DressingAsTheEnemy dressed as an Iraqi general]] yells at the soldiers for their "failures" and claims that Saddam Hussein is coming to personally execute them. It gets most of the garrison to run away, making it easier for the Americans and the rebels to get inside and rescue Barlow.
* BoomHeadshot: Vig claims that Troy did this to an Iraqi soldier when recalling an event that occurred at the beginning of the film.
** Major Gates describes sepsis during a graphic shot of a bullet penetrating internal organs. [[spoiler: Later, one character is shot in the chest and another character dies of sepsis.]]
-->'''Archie:''' No guns, because we know what they do, right Conrad?
-->'''Conrad:''' They make infected pockets full of bile, sir.
-->'''Archie:''' That's right. That's what they do.
** The Nerf football rigged with C-4. [[spoiler:Conrad Vig has an entire bag of them, and Chief Elgin uses one to take out a '''helicopter.''']]
* ChekhovsSkill: Chief Elgin's day job is an airport baggage handler. This comes in handy when he knows which pieces of luggage can [[RealityEnsues handle the weight of the gold]].
* ChildSoldier: One young boy was sniping Iraqi soldiers from a tower while the main characters retreated. [[spoiler:The tank took care of him]].
* ClusterFBomb: Most of the movie. Saïd in particular seems to have learned his English from some rather foul mouthed American soliders.
* DistractedFromDeath: [[spoiler:Conrad dies unnoticed from a shoulder wound while everyone is tending to the seemingly more seriously injured Troy.]]
* CoolCar: Saddams stolen luxury cars, which are used in the assault on the prison.
* DoomedByCanon: The film hints that the Iraqi rebels could overthrow Saddam shortly after the first Gulf War. Anyone who's studied history should know how well that went...
* ElectricTorture: Troy. Incidentally, Mark Wahlberg was shocked for real during his torture scenes.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: Subverted with Maj. Gates, as he is a decorated Ranger/Special Forces officer who is serving with Delta Force for his last month in the Army.
* EveryoneHasStandards: Although the main American soldiers were obviously stealing gold from the Iraqis, after seeing an innocent Iraqi woman executed, even Gates realizes that they probably went too far in their heist. Though the gold is still their ultimate goal, they also do what they can to help the Iraqi rebels as well after this incident.
* GetRichQuickScheme: Major Gate's plans to steal the gold from the Iraqis.
* HollywoodDensity: Played straight with the characters tossing and carrying gold bars. Somewhat averted with the suitcases, which rip immediately when picked up (although in real life the other suitcases would not be able to handle the load they did, either).
* ImagineSpot: Used several times in the film, such as with Vig recalling Troy shooting an Iraqi soldier, and later Troy imagining his wife and child at home as a bomb blows up their house.
* InfantImmortality: Averted. [[spoiler: The child soldier is killed by the tank]].
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Semi-lampshaded. Chief Elgin [[PistolWhipping pistol whips]] an Iraqi soldier and his gun fires a round, which sends everyone diving for cover to avoid the ricochet. Afterward Gates tells him to keep his finger off the trigger.
* MeaningfulName: "Three Kings" is one of the names given to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi Biblical Magi]].
** Conrad, Troy, and Elgin have become quite cavalier about the whole army thing and are excited to shoot off some rounds as they ride away from the US compound. Archie sets them on a dry run before attacking the bunker. Then a cow steps on a cluster bomb right before they do.
** Everything was going fine, they [[spoiler: got the gold]] in the truck, then some Iraqi soldier [[spoiler: is ordered to shoot some woman [[YourHeadASplode in the head]]. He does.]]
** Archie attempts to pump up the Iraqi rebels to get some free vehicles. The cheering man flatly refuses.
-->'''Iraqi Rebel''': Ahahahaha. Cannot give car.
--> '''Archie''': Alright, I guess we'll buy them.
* NeverTrustATitle: There are four main characters.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Gates makes sure they get Troy back before they leave with the gold.
* NonIndicativeName: As per MeaningfulName, the "Three Kings" in question are not the lead characters, of whom there are four.
* NotSoDifferent: During the interrogation/torture sequence, Saïd talks about how he only joined the army to provide for his wife and child. This visibly shakes Troy, who joined the Army Reserve for the extra cash to support his family. He also tells Troy about what happened to his family, and tells him to imagine his wife at home if they were suddenly hit by a bomb. After he's rescued, Troy is given a handgun to take some vengeance on his torturer. However, he instead just shoots into the wall nearby, showing that he's realized the pain and suffering Saïd went through in his life.
* OneWomanWail: To be expected in a movie that takes place in the desert; happens toward the end.
* OutrankingYourJob: At the start of the film, Major Gates' assignment is to babysit a single reporter.
* PistolWhip: Chief Elgin smacks an Iraqi soldier with the butt of his pistol during the raid on the Karbala bunker, and ends up accidentally firing a shot as he had his finger on the trigger at the time.
* SouthernFriedPrivate: Conrad Vig. For one, he's easily the dumbest of the four, he calls Iraqis "dune coons", and he repeatedly threatens to shoot Iraqi prisoners whenever dealing with them.
* SuperCellReception: One character manages to make a phone call to his wife, on a cell phone, in the middle of Iraq just after the First Gulf War, from inside a fortified bunker. Granted, he does go through a few phones before he finds one that works.
* TitleDrop: Happens when the story of the Three Kings (i.e. the Magi who gave gifts to the infant/toddler Jesus; the Bible doesn't say how many there are but tradition holds that there were three of them because of the three gifts given) is recounted.
* TotallyRadical: A minor example. During the torture scene, Saïd continually refers to Troy as "my main man," and at one point refers to torture as a "big bummer." Both are rather dated slang for a movie set in the first Gulf War. Justified, as the phrase was fairly common when he probably learned English.
* TreasureMap: Found in a surrendering soldier's butt, and referred to as the "Iraqi ass map".
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The ending shows what each of the surviving characters do afterwards, along with the supposedly missing gold the Iraqis claim they have no knowledge of.