The opening two minutes set an irreverent tone that immediately grabbed my attention. “Are we shooting people, or what?”, unlike your typical war film, our characters are unsure; their heroism is uncertain. The first forty five minutes of Three Kings
is pretty cool. It’s a good mix of comedy and action, and does a pretty decent job of not falling into typical war movie clichés. In this first half it’s neither a preachy anti-war film, nor is it a ra-ra war is glorious film. It operates in the cynical zone, and I like that. Three Kings
is at its best for the first hour, after that things lull and a lot of the comedy and action that grabbed my attention disappear. Not that I loved all that comedy, some of it was kind of snarky, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some of the snarkiness wasn’t exactly fresh. And nobody likes stale snarky.
In the second half of the film, things get a lot more serious and the finale feels very Hollywood, and not in a good way. Is anybody moved by our three kings' sacrifice? Personally I was a lot more compelled when their motivations were self serving. I guess they need to like grow and stuff, and hey Russell wants to sell some tickets, but for me the film was a lot more interesting when it was cynical and satirical. Ultimately having our band of brothers depicted as liberators feels like a cheat and is a lot less satisfying from the initial, more nuanced perspective. Early on Clooney’s character states, “I don’t even know what we did in this war”, by the end he and his buddies do what the president wouldn’t. Without going too skjerva on all your asses, the ending of the film misreads American intervention in the region as insufficient humanitarianism and neglects the strategic motivations. With that said however, all in all, a good movie. Some random stuff:
Clooney’s dialogue, sometimes feels like it’s from a different movie, very mannered. Or more specifically Three Kings
is several different kinds of movie in one, which really isn't a criticism, I just found Clooney's long-winded speeches to be a bit distracting sometimes.
I like Nora Dunn here. This is a nice little supporting role for her. I’ve always been a big fan of this
and it was nice to see her again.
Jamie Kennedy is a bad idea. It’s not his fault, he’s doing what he’s hired to do, but I think he’s completely unnecessary because Dunn is already plenty funny in their scenes. Also, don’t we already have the simple hayseed covered with the Spike Jonze part?
That U2 song over the closing credits is a weird choice. Some random pictures: