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Plot: A small group of adventurous American soldiers in Iraq at the end of the Gulf War are determined to steal a huge cache of gold reputed to be hidden somewhere near their desert base. Finding a map they believe will take them to the gold, they embark on a journey that leads to unexpected discoveries,… Runtime: 114 min Release Date: 03 Mar 2000
In 1994 and then 1996, David O. Russell proved himself to be one of the few original voices in American comedy with his films SPANKING THE MONKEY and FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, respectively. He could have continued in that vein, but instead he seemed to be going mainstream with a studio film, starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube, which seemed to be an action/adventure set in the Gulf War, at least if you only saw the trailer which left me going "Huh?" . After seeing the film, it's clear to me that Russell is now one of the major talents to emerge from the 90's, <more>
as this is a masterpiece.As I mentioned before, the trailer was confusing, but while the movie is clear, Russell who re-wrote a script by John Ridley, though there's a lot of contention over who exactly did what makes clear from the beginning his intention to throw curves at us whenever he can, starting with Wahlberg asking as he draws his sights on an Iraqi soldier, "Are we still shooting at people?" He shoots the soldier anyway, and is immediately remorseful when he sees the soldier was holding a white flag. The movie goes from there to soldiers who, although in a celebratory mood, are still somewhat puzzled as to why they're there, a reporter played well by the underused Nora Dunn who can't help but talk in cliches, a tanker which, when shot, turns out to be holding milk, and Iraqi refugees who thought Americans were going to liberate them from Saddam Hussein and now are suffering because of it. It's this attitude which makes the otherwise normal-sounding plot - Clooney, Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze play soldiers turned thieves who end up with a conscience - play as anything but normal-sounding.Another thing which helps is the photography I forget the guy's name, but he also did THE USUAL SUSPECTS . Far from the clear-looking photography we got in the telecasts, this is rough, dangerous, and, just like the plot, constantly putting us off our guard.Finally, the performances. Clooney I think has long been underappreciated not, as most people assume, because he's a sex symbol, but because he, like Harrison Ford and others of his type, make it look easy. There's nothing easy about his character here, and Clooney doesn't take the easy way out here. He doesn't coast on his charm and try to make the character likeable, but goes through the journey his character does, and even without a lot of dialogue at the end, his face when he signals to Wahlberg and Ice Cube says all we need to know, as does their nods back . Wahlberg is fast becoming one of our better actors, and this proves it. He even finds comic potential where you wouldn't expect any. Ice Cube has had a mixed career since BOYZ IN THE HOOD, but this ranks up with that performance. Finally, Jonze has been criticized for playing a hillbilly stereotype, but the key is how he's more like a lapdog hungry for affection rather than just plain white trash, and he plays it as such. This is the best film I've seen so far this year.
A thought-provoking war movie, an exciting action film, a hysterically funny comedy, and a moving drama... what more could you ask from Hollywood? (by jaysilentbob37)
Regardless of any backlash you may have heard, this film is a flat-out masterpiece. It's blend of action, comedy, and drama is perfect enough that any moviegoer can find ultimate satisfaction with it. The story is fun, the dialogue is hilarious, and the situations range from hilarious to shockingly emotional and intense. In fact, the film is something like watching humor and seriousness fight it out. By the end, you're exhausted.The film's plot begins once the Persian Gulf War is over. Soldiers are celebrating, and a peace treaty between the U.S. and Iraq has been signed. <more>
Everything's cool. The morning after the celebration, three of the soldiers, Troy Barlow Mark Wahlberg , Conrad Vig Spike Jonze , and Chief Elgin Ice Cube come across a map in an Iraqi POW's ass. It is a map to millions of dollars worth of Kuwaiti gold, stolen by Saddam. The soldiers, not entire;y satisfied by the lack of action in the war, decide to steal the gold to make the time served worthwhile. A greedy special forces officer, Archie Gates George Clooney steps in, declaring himself the leader, and off they go. Shortly after they find the gold however, things quickly go wrong. Saddam's soldiers begin slaughtering Iraqi civilians, whom Bush had advised to rise up against Saddam. Putting humanity before greed, the men decide to help the civilians...The plot moves at a fast pace, and every scene is entertaining. The dialogue is a joy to listen to, and is chock full of hilarious lines and witty insight. The comedy ranges from clever, and/or silly one-liners, and some of the most surreal situations ever filmed. A cow steps on a hidden bomb, and blows up. Mark Wahlberg's character contacts his wife while briefly imprisoned in a bunker that is stocked full of cordless phones. And don't even get me started on the ambitious reporter Adriana Cruz Nora Dunn and her dimwitted escort Jamie Kennedy ... Moments like these come frequently, always hitting their comedic mark- and after the first half hour, are usually followed by stuff like a woman being shot in the head in front of her young daughter, and a torture scene that ironically brings much humanity to the Iraqi soldiers. The scenes often cancel each other out. Comedic scenes usually end in, or involve something serious, and much of the serious stuff involves, or ends in something funny "what is the deal with Michael Jackson? . And yes, the film is quite violent, and though not nearly as gory as war films such as Black Hawk Down, and Saving Private Ryan, there are still plenty of scenes that may churn the stomachs of squeamish viewers the demonstration of how a bullet effects the body from the inside made me kind of nauseous .The performances are also great, and with a cast like this, I'm surprised that the movie doesn't have nearly as much recognition as it deserves. George Clooney is perfect as Archie Gates. He is sarcastic, greedy, and often rude, yet you take him seriously when his more selfless side emerges. Mark Wahlberg is funny in a strangely emotional way, as Troy Barlow. Spike Jonze is flat-out hysterical as the annoyingly lovable, poorly educated redneck, Conrad Vig. And Ice Cube, who is a great actor when given the right roles Boyz N the Hood , is great, though he is given a bit less to do than his co-stars. After the hilarious first half-hour, his role rarely requires too much "acting".The film is shot in a style that gives it a realistic look, and leaves you in need of air conditioning. The color appears to be on the maximum brightness level, and everything seems to have a reflection, even if all it reflects is bright light. The look gives the film a gritty and downbeat tone, which in a way makes the film even funnier, as the absurd humor almost comes as unexpected in such a real, and harsh looking film. Don't sit too close to a TV when watching this.The film is a masterpiece, one of the greatest films ever made in my eyes. It provides more sheer entertainment and pleasure than half the movies made these days. Watch it as the entertaining action-comedy-drama that it is, and don't worry too much about the political content, which is irrelevant compared to the fun. Three Kings is on of the most exhilarating, downright brilliant movies I've ever seen, and I give it my full recommendation of 10/10.Three Kings is rated R for Graphic War Violence, Language, and Brief Sexuality.Sex- 5/10 Violence- 9/10 Swearing- 10/10 Drugs- 3/10
After the liberation of Kuwait a couple of Soldiers, being sick of their jobs, leave their camp to find the stolen gold of Kuwait. This results in a shocking experience behind enemy lines.I´m not so much of a war movie fan, but this one is just so thought-provoking and entertaining I just had to love it. It is very fast on it´s feet and never omits a little joke, but as the plot unfolds you will get a more serious view of war than in Spielberg´s grotesque disaster "Saving Private Ryan", o.k. it´s less realistic but definitely more honest.If you thought "How I Won the <more>
War" is too bizarre and "Thin Red Line" to gritty, watch "Three Kings" the M.A.S.H of the nineties
overlooked gem shows what a modern war really is (by Rick-34)
It's hard to really adequately describe this movie. Let me try.For starters, in spite of the advertisements, it's not merely a remake of "Kelly's Heroes". Yes, we are in a postwar situation, where a bunch of Americans are trying to "recover" gold stolen by the enemy, but that's the end of the similarities."Three Kings" does an excellent job of showing just how gonzo modern warfare has become. You've got unemployed reservists going to the Middle East for kicks fighting Saddam, who uses gas attacks, electric shock torture and other atrocities to <more>
fight the rebels. Thrown in the mix are a U.S.-educated Iraqi whose businesses were destroyed by the Americans, a bunch of rebels and refugees living in bunkers, a CNN-type correspondent facing the threat of younger reporters, and Mark Wahlberg's character finding a cell phone in the Iraqi bunker and using it to call his wife in the U.S.The movie is extremely funny at times, graphically violent at times, but always on target. It provides a lot of insight into how non-Americans view the U.S. I cannot think of another major movie which showed people in a third-world country as modern people without patronizing. Even the soldiers shooting at our heros, gassing the refugees, and torturing Mark Wahlberg's character are shown as human beings.Somehow this movie got lost last year amongst all the hype for "American Beauty". "Three Kings" looks to have much more staying power. George Clooney continues to shine in yet another under-appreciated performance. For somebody with a Hollywood legacy, he really seems to have pushed some of the wrong buttons in Hollywood. I cannot think of any other explanation for why he has yet to achieve the acclaim his performances deserve.
Funny, shocking, thought provoking and honest. (by Gem-22)
A film for anyone who ever relishes the triumphal note of western war films, who gets carried away by the moral high of being on the winning side. For those who saw the good in the Gulf War, saw how many people America helped and was proud to live in the Western world.Three Kings is an anti-war film. Its opening scenes are not the declaration of war, but soldiers celebrating its end. Then coming to grips with its consequences.Of course, Saddam Hussein is depicted in the customary role of the villain, but then so is George Bush whose abandonment of the Iraqi people he had called to rise <more>
against Saddam is illustrated with examples of human suffering - emotional as well as physical.Don't get the idea that this is a bleak and 'worthy' film, in many ways it is, but it does it with such style and black humour - that forces you to laugh even while being disgusted or perturbed - that it is eminently watchable. But still edgy, I was pleased to see one couple walk out though they might just have gone to the toilet, who knows, I was absorbed by the film and didn't pay enough attention .Director, David O Russell, ensures that the film never gets carried away with action scenes - bullets have consequences good and bad even when fired by an all-American soldier. There is some stunning cinematography. Particularly shocking to me was when Iraqi soldiers fire at a tanker. Nothing's more shocking than the unexpected and dramatically understated I didn't see the trailer, though I believe that scene was actually in it .There are some interesting cinematic devices in the film. The next time that sepsis comes into conversation I'm sure anyone who has seen the film will call to mind scenes of a bullet travelling through the body. I've seen less violent films than some people, but have been swept away by their power many times - become blasé about bullets and cinematic death. I've seen it all too often before to care about nameless victims that stand in the way of the power, wit, and understanding of the hard-bitten, long-serving soldier, wielding a justice in the shape of a gun.Russell claimed to make every bullet count in the film, and in one memorably calm scene of confusion and crossfire, he certainly does. The style of the film however doesn't detract from its content. Three Kings doesn't have pretensions of addressing difficult issues by showing the manly, serious face of George Clooney looking a little concerned after killing a few dozen of the enemy. It has intelligent dialogue and moving scenes of confrontation between the opposing ideologies of the Americans and their 'allies' and 'enemies' alike.Not the best date movie in the world. Funny, shocking, thought provoking and honest, 8.5/10.
I avoided this film for some time because I have a strong dislike of war films, particularly relatively recent wars. Too bad for me. I finally rented it because of the impressive works I've seen by Mr. Russell. This is not a war film, even though it takes place during a war, and in a war zone. This is a film of humanity. Like many other films that I find excellent, this film deals with the human condition on many levels. There's pathos, humor, love, violence, ad infinitum. You'd get a sterilized version of what this film shows on the evening news. It shows that our soldiers, just <more>
as ourselves, are human, with all our frailities. And, I believe, it gives an honest account of what life is like for the people of the Middle East.Fine acting by truly fine actors, great cinematography, and a very intelligent script make this a must see film.
A beautiful war movie, if that's possible (by Boyo-2)
I have to admit first I was born without the gene that understands why countries go to war. I don't understand who is fighting, why they are, the whole concept is a mystery to me. On a moral level its extremely offensive and completely unpleasant for all involved. So by extension its hard to watch a war movie because I go in already confused.But I know a good movie when I see one, and this is a very good movie in many ways. This movie has a heart, some fantastic acting and something worthwhile to say. It was not hard to watch or understand, especially since, like I said, I don't <more>
always get it. But I will be watching this one again. At times it felt like a documentary. All the acting is so natural, no one makes a false move and you can't say that about most movies. And I also didn't know Infiniti made a convertible!8/10
Fine movie set in the aftermath of the 1991 "Gulf War". (by TxMike)
I remember the 1991 Gulf War well, and in fact visited the area in late 1991. After looking at the "extras" on the DVD version of Three Kings, you realize how accurate the movie is, having used USA veterans as consultants, and some of the extras were actually Guld War refugees. I rate it "8" of "10".The movie is action-packed and well-acted. The only thing that threw me off a bit was the sometimes strange mixture of humor and tragedy - people graphically getting killed in one scene, and characters being in humorous situations the next. Still, it is an <more>
entertaining movie overall, and gives a great glimpse of what the Gulf War was all about.
Good movie that blends comedy, drama, extreme violence and politics together and makes each element work. The story is far-fetched and George Clooney has always annoyed me every performance he gives is the same! and some of the violence was TOO extreme a mother gets shot to death in front of her children . But the acting with the exception of Clooney was good, the script literate and intelligent and the direction was stunning. Different types of film stock were used for various scenes and the violence is shot so you can actually see how bloody and painful it is this film has lots of <more>
violence but none of it is glorified . It all works but by the end of the film you're exhausted. So much is thrown at you in some many different ways that you never get a chance to stop and catch your breath. Still, well worth seeing...just brace yourself for extreme violence.