Film: The Kingdom (2007)

aka: The Kingdom

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: a minor role, but done sympathetically.
  • 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.
  • Book Ends: Fleury starts and ends the film telling the sons of the deceased Agent Fran 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 at one point Fleury is seen reloading his shotgun.
  • 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.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Abu Hamza's granddaughter is clearly going to follow his footsteps.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Abu Hamza's terrorists have access to 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.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: Aaron Jackson, though he only appears in one scene. It's implied that he Took a Level in Jerkass with the death of his wife.
  • Meaningful Echo: We're going to kill them all.
  • 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 Woman's Land: "Hey! Don't cross the pink line!"
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: 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: Deputy CoM Schmidt
  • Papa Wolf: The whole FBI team, plus the two Saudi investigators, goes nuclear when Leavitt gets snatched.
  • Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: Type Three - but a better-done example of the trope
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Director Grace.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Averted. After Abu Hamza's grandson shoots Col. al-Ghazi, his pistol jams but is able to clear the jam before attempting to shoot someone else.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Leavitt. While not portrayed as a walking Cluster F-Bomb, his eagerness for lighter profanity somewhat offends the Saudi authorities.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Would Hurt a Child: On both sides.

Alternative Title(s):

The Kingdom