Home > REVIEWS > Crowning 'Three Kings' Ten Years Later…If you have never seen this movie, Rent it, it is worth it.

Crowning 'Three Kings' Ten Years Later…If you have never seen this movie, Rent it, it is worth it.

BY: David Frank | October 1st 2009 at 2:40 AM

Ten years have passed since David O. Russell delivered his brazen, wildly kinetic Gulf War Part 1 film Three Kings. There was a great many war movies before Three Kings and a great many since, but no war film has ever quite captured the energetic vibrancy of Three Kings and I’m doubtful another ever will. The movie… well, moves.

It’s part war genre, part heist genre, part road-trip movie, part morality fable all while juggling huge action scenes, broad comedy, satire, astute political messages, and honest human drama with the visceral punch of an acid freak on meth. Three Kings zips like a barrage of finless rockets looping and twisting unpredictably in perfect harmony but still managing to nail all of its intended targets dead center. I’ve probably watched the sucker 40 times in the last decade and never tire of it. If I catch it on TNT, I must finish it, even if that means missing a trip to the bathroom… or two (oops). Simply, Three Kings is a profound, complex piece of cinema that never bores.

Three Kings opened to good reviews (and a few raves, especially from Roger Ebert) and a decent (for 1999) $15 million opening weekend haul. Yet, the film was unfortunately forgotten by the masses shortly thereafter. It became “that war movie that George Clooney did.” Then George W. Bush and his pack of loony, war-crazed miscreants decided to bomb the sand out of Baghdad again and suddenly people were talking about Three Kings as if they’d been fawning over it since ’99 — heeey this film isn’t only relevant, it’s damn good.

I hate to see a war break out for people to notice a film’s greatness, but sometimes that’s what it takes. Three Kings is an unrelenting criticism of how Papa Bush executed Gulf War Part 1 (mainly attacking the naive strategy that Iraqi citizens would somehow overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime without aid from the U.S.). Some could see that angle as supporting Bush II’s take-Hussein-out obsession. Yet, the movie ain’t that easy. It also alludes to the complexities that an occupation of Iraq (as the U.S. has undertaken for the last 6 years) would present. Essentially, Three Kings is an ode to the inevitable cluster-fuck that results from trying to force liberty, freedom, democracy and the U.S.A. way down another country’s throat. Best said, the film is a lot of things and that’s just one of them.

It’s also a critique of the cultural lens we use to view people residing within the countries the U.S. bombs to ash. Hopefully the renewed interest in Three Kings also helped viewers better empathize with Iraqis. The film’s masterstroke is how much it invokes empathy for the Iraqi citizens and even the “enemy” soldiers (so much so that even Mark Wahlberg’s character can’t kill his Iraqi interrogator, who tortured him with electrocution, motor-oil dinners and questions concerning the nature of Michael Jackson, after hearing the interrogator’s tragic life story).

It’s good more people have discovered this film within the last few years. Yet, as time passes I hope it’s remembered less for its strong relevancy to Dubya’s disastrous Iraq-attack, and more for this simple fact: It’s a cinematic masterpiece.

Happy 10th Birthday Three Kings.

Related post categories: Happy Anniversary :

Posted via web from MovieDriver – posterous

Categories: REVIEWS
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