You could be forgiven for having forgotten about Universal’s Middle East action-thriller The Kingdom. After a small trailer that created little to no buzz, Universal moved the release date from April 20th all the way back to September 28th, and nary a peep was heard since. Probably a good idea given that this past April was a crowded wasteland with a gazillion movies released each weekend only to be repeatedly flattened by Disturbia. At its new release date home, The Kingdom only has to contend with the troubled Beatles-based musical Across the Universe, Simon Pegg’s Run, Fat Boy, Run, and George Clooney’s legal thriller Michael Clayton. Only the latter poses any significant threat, and the emphasis on explosive action in the new trailer should help set The Kingdom apart from the courtroom fireworks of its competition.
Still, this new trailer strikes me as something of a regression. In the first one, the characters were emphasized to the point where they captioned character names and professions when Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Chris Cooper first appeared onscreen. It was fairly dialogue-heavy and focused on getting across the investigative aspects of the film. Now, all that’s been thrown out the window to boil the picture down to the basics: We’re good guys. Bad guys kidnap one of us. We go in without support and get our man back. So much for any substantive look at Middle East/American politics. You want that, then go rent Syriana, liberal whackos. This here movie’s got stuff blowing up!
Anyway, don’t take my word for it. Check it out in your choice of crystal-clear HD formats right here.