Film / The Kingdom (2007)
aka: The Kingdom

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Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan and directed by Peter Berg, The Kingdom is a Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie released in 2007. It follows a team of FBI agents as they investigate a terrorist bombing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is a War On Terror movie with a focus on criminal investigation rather than military action. Stars Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman and Ashraf Barhom. The movie opens with a succinct and generally accurate history of the interactions between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Following the credits, the movie opens with a terrorist attack (calling to mind both the Kohbar Towers bombing and the Riyadh Compound Attack) on civilians in Saudi Arabia. Agent Ronald Fleury and a team of agents are sent to Saudi Arabia to "assist" the Saudis in the investigation of the attack. The film was criticized for its portrayal of Muslims (despite the highly sympathetic treatment of the Saudi investigators) and had a mediocre showing in the box office.

Not to be confused with the trope about a monarch's property, nor with the urban collaborative project The Kingdom.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Arab Oil Sheikh: Prince Ahmed bin Khaled. Unlike many similar portrayals of such characters, his is mainly positive, as it is after his meeting with the FBI agents he decides to allow them permission to investigate the bombing more thoroughly.
  • Bash Brothers: Fleury and Faris shoot their way though the apartment building in the finale.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Subverted, in that while the FBI members are all clean shaven, the sympathetic Saudi members have beards, while the non-sympathetic types are clean shaven.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted, the team looks like crap after the final battle.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy/Bald of Awesome: Fleury.
  • Big Bad: Abu Hamza.
  • Bookends: Fleury starts and ends the film telling the sons of the deceased Agent Fran Manner and Colonel Faris al-Ghazi how he knew each of them as good friends.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, the Fleury/Faris duo empty three firearms each during the final shootout, and both Mayes and Fleury are seen reloading.
  • The Captain: Fleury.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Shrapnel evidence gathered from the crime scene which included nails, nuts, bolts and even marbles are later seen being used by the bomb makers during the initial raid. An informant, a former terrorist later gives advice about bomb makers occasionally losing limbs or fingers to their line of work. After the final gun battle, an innocent child is revealed to be in possession of the same type of marble, her grandfather sitting in the same room is revealed to have missing fingers, pinning his identity as Abu Hamza.
  • Colonel Badass: Faris al Ghazi.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted. Mayes is nearly killed several times as Fleury and Faris's separate firefight sends bullets through walls and a grenade blows a hole in a wall.
  • Cycle of Revenge: At the end of the movie, the camera zooms on the eyes of Abu Hamza's grandson, as it did during scenes of Hamza himself, suggesting the child is clearly going to follow his footsteps.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Leavitt, especially when Sergeant Haytham pronounces his name with a French sounding accentuation in an argument.
    Sgt. Haytham: LeVeit!
    Leavitt: It's pronounced Leavitt, not LeVeit, I'm not a goddamn French-Canadian!
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Abu Hamza's terrorists have access to Saudi police uniforms.
  • FBI Agent: At one point there is a whole room of them, but the movie focuses on a team of four.
  • Giant Mook: One of these has a brutal fight with Janet Mayes and Adam Leavitt. He easily throws both of them across the room.
  • Good Ol' Boy: Sykes. Also Southern-Fried Genius. Also Mr. Fixit.
  • Hostage Video: Leavit is used in one after being kidnapped by the terrorists, but it gets interrupted by his colleagues.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the final battle, the FBI Agents and Saudi investigators kill plenty of bag guys by taking positions and and with precise calm shots. The enemy mooks meanwhile are shooting all over the place and hit nothing. The director mentions that he asked a group of ex-special forces people watching a preview if it wasn't a bit too implausible that none of the good guys were getting hit by the terrorists in the final shootout. They assured him that such lousy accuracy was nothing unusual.
  • Impersonating an Officer:
    • In the opening attack in the American residential compound, the two gunmen and suicide bomber are able to infiltrate the area and carry out their attack as they are dressed as Saudi State Police officers.
    • The terrorists who attack the convoy and kidnap Leavitt in the third act are also dressed as police officers, and drive a SUV which is identical to those used in the police convoy.
  • Jerkass: Aaron Jackson, an American oil worker who lives on the compound. It's implied that he Took a Level in Jerkass after his wife was murdered by the terrorists in the opening, as he begins mouthing off and insulting the Mulsim Saudi police who are aiding the FBI in their investigation.
  • Meaningful Echo: "We're going to kill them all" - the words said by Fleury to Mayes at the beginning, and by Abu Hamza to his grandson at the end.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Mayes is a competent & effective Agent, but her personal relationship to the incident is made clear in a way that is not for Sykes.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Averted. Mayes only defeats the above mentioned Giant Mook once she draws her knife.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • After a member of the Saudi National Guard slaps Colonel Al Ghazi when they start arguing over jurisdiction to enter a building, Fleury disarms him and takes him down in a rather spectacular fashion, leaving him clutching his head on the ground as the State Police enter the building.
    • Again, the fight with the Giant Mook. Basically most of the fight has Mayes being slammed around the room by him, and Mayes retaliates by biting the Giant Mook's ear off, then shooting his leg, then stabbing him several times in the groin and the chest before finishing him off by stabbing him in the head. Ouch.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Damon Schmidt, the Deputy Chief of Mission who keeps pestering the FBI agents to leave the country, despite having not finished their investigation.
  • Papa Wolf: The whole FBI team, plus the two Saudi investigators, goes nuclear when Leavitt gets snatched by the terrorists.
  • Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: Type Three - but a better-done example of the trope
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: FBI Director Robert Grace, who butts heads with the Attorney General and puts his job on the line in order to secure authorisation for the team to be deployed to Saudi Arabia.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Leavitt. While not portrayed as a walking Cluster F-Bomb, his eagerness for lighter profanity somewhat gets on Al Ghazi's nerves, and him criticising Leavitt for it becomes somewhat of a Brick Joke throughout the film
  • Steel Eardrums:
    • Averted. Mayes falls to the ground in pain when someone fires a .50 calibre machine gun over her head. She expresses worry that it blew out her eardrum, and is temporarily deafened by it.
    • Played straight in the final shootout, as no one seems to suffer any hearing damage despite sustained automatic fire and grenade explosions in confined spaces.
  • Throw-Away Guns: The team's vehicle is destroyed, so they end up grabbing whatever the dead terrorists were using. Fleury starts out with a G3, picks up a shotgun, and ends up with a AK-47.
  • The War on Terror: Level Red

Alternative Title(s): The Kingdom

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