Friday, August 3, 2007

Keys to the 'The Kingdom'?

If you haven't yet, check out this fantastic trailer for 'The Kingdom.'

Is this yet another partisan, anti-Iraq sermon being packaged for Red State suckers, or could it be as good as it looks? I'm optimistic, but the telltale signs of liberalism may be there.

First, the cast of confirmed and presumed liberals.

Chris Cooper isn't just a Leftist, he's hardcore, in the mold of Penn/Glover/Baldwin. Cooper does not play hard-bitten G-men out to avenge wrongs to his country unless there's a conspiracy at the core. Ditto for Jeremy Piven. Then there's character actor Richard Jenkins, who often inhabits bureaucrats and smarmy authority types, evidently here playing a suit responsible for sending our heroes into the soup.

Another clue appears in an alternate trailer.

Jamie Foxx's character tells his son he's going after bad men, to which his son affirms, "you're not one of them." Hollywood does not set something up like that unless it proves ironic, ala Munich, where the "good guys" lose their soul in pursuit of "bad guys" who are really just like us.

Writer Matthew Michael Carnahan is an unknown quantity, but his upcoming "Lion for Lambs" looks to be as liberal as they come on roughly the same topic as this movie.

The producers are a mixed bag. Some with liberal credits logged or upcoming, some who just might lean right.

Michael Mann is the biggest name on the producing team. Stylistically, he's one of my all-time favorite directors. One of the reasons for that being the fact that I don't know where he stands politically. He's largely remained blessedly apolitical, though I do like the looks of one project he's developing now.

Director Peter Berg... Another unknown, though both Friday Night Lights and the TV show it spawned (and he produces) have proven respectful to and worthy of their Middle American audience.

My guess? We're the good guys but there will be a conspiratorial twist at the end, though whether or how directly Uncle Sam is complicit remains to be seen.

If it merely bashes the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the false friend to American interests that it is -- a fact which the present administration seems as clueless as it is on the immigration issue -- I as a conservative may even be high-fiving my pinko colleagues across the aisle after the screening.

Either way though, one of the best-produced trailers I've seen in years. U2's "Bullet the Blue Sky" provides the soundtrack here and could be the biggest little clue yet as to the tone of this film.

Now if only yet another film -- 300 being the last -- hadn't just lifted a few key moments from the script I last finished. Ah, well... Back to the ole drawing board.

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