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Movie Review: Three Kings

Story: David O. Russell's (Spanking the Monkey and Flirting With Disaster) screenplay and direction has certainly not ended up as a John Wayne war movie. While rounding up Iraqi prisoners after the cease fire during the Gulf War some GI's find a treasure map sticking out of an Iraqi soldier's butt. Under the leadership of Special Forces Captain Archie Gates they embark on a simple plan (remember last year's movie of the same name?- and how that turned out?) to grab the hidden gold bullion (for themselves) that was stolen from the Kuwaitis but end up doing the heroic stuff that this techno war had not allowed them to achieve. While not a comedy, a film with this much violence and tension needs and has its share of comedy. Russell creates a terrific sun-bleached quality in the film and very often I felt like I was inside an action video game. A side benefit for me politically was the George Bush (Sr. not W) /Desert Storm/American War policy bashing. Or, War -good God- what is it good for?

Acting: George Clooney (looking way better in camouflage than hospital scrubs) is easy on the eye and is typically cool, calm and collected in a movie hero way. Mark Wahlberg (I couldn't get Boogie Nights and his Calvin Klein ads out of my head when I saw him in his skivvies) is pretty good and also easy to look at. Ice Cube is very adequate as one of the soldiers of fortune and Spike Jonze ( real name Adam Spiegel of the catalog family and married to Sofia Coppola, known for his MTV video direction and soon to be released movie Inside John Malkovich) is really good as the redneck in the group. And finally, the Arizona desert, in a supporting role, as Kuwait looks very good.

Visual Art: Some larger than life wall paintings of Saddam Hussein

Pets: One cow (short-lived)

Sappy Factor: 3