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Three Kings

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Three Kings

Starring: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg
Director: David Russell
Rated: R
RunTime: 115 Minutes
Release Date: October 1999
Genres: Drama, War

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

'Remember "Catch 22" and "M*A*S*H*" - those black comedies that captured the surrealist insanity of W.W.II and the Korean War? That's what David O. Russell attempts in this astute blend of action/adventure, drama, humor, and scathing political commentary. George Clooney stars as a cynical career soldier - an American Special Forces Captain - who's ready to retire. In March of 1991, he and his cohorts (Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze) are ready to return home from the Gulf War when they unexpectedly come into possession of a map that indicates the location of a stash of Kuwaiti gold bullion stolen by the Iraqi army. "Saddam stole it from the sheiks," Clooney says, "and I have no problem stealing it from Saddam." They take off at dawn, planning to return by noon. But it's not that easy, particularly with a feisty war correspondent (Nora Dunn) snooping around. There's chaos, confusion, and carnage - but don't expect any stupendous battle scenes. Encounters with the "enemy" are primarily skirmishes as Iraqi rebels, encouraged by George Bush's exhortations to overthrow Saddam Hussein, courageously fight the brutal Republican Guard, only to discover that the politically expedient cease-fire has made the Americans unwilling to offer humanitarian aid to the civilians caught in the turmoil. "We're fighting Saddam and dying - and you're stealing gold," one angry rebel astutely observes, igniting a moral dilemma for the greedy treasure-hunters who are cornered into doing the right thing. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Three Kings" is a suspenseful 8, raising serious questions about the morality of the United States position on military intervention and putting a human face on the atrocities of war.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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