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Film Review - Three Kings
Aw, man! Someone really screwed the pooch on this one! Three Kings was supposed to be the remake of Kelly's Heroes but instead takes a wrong turn down Preacher Lane.
You remember Kelly's Heroes? Clint Eastwood discovers a bank full of Nazi gold behind enemy lines during World War II. Great war movie! Well here we are in those happy-go-lucky days after the Gulf War. George Clooney discovers a map to bunkers where Saddam Hussein is storing a bunch of gold he stole from the Kuwaiti. They just have to go pick it up. Right? Wrong!
First, they make Clooney a Special Forces Major in charge of babysitting a reporter. What? Who would do that to a Special Forces killer? And don't you think this is a little menial for a major? Send a lieutenant! Next, after they get the gold, the film turns left and spends the rest of its time berating the U.S. for not killing Saddam. Come on! If you are going to send us on a guilt trip, issue seat belts!
This film doesn't know what it wants to be. It's not Kelly's Heroes. It wants us to have extended the war, but then decides at places to be overly graphic in explaining the effects of bullets on the body. This doesn't work.
You can't rally people to war and show them the guts. These are conflicting messages. The only reason the guts worked in Saving Private Ryan was to portray accurately a historic event and depict the bravery and sacrifice of the men who stormed the beaches on D-Day. It certainly wouldn't be used as a recruitment film.
In the end, Three Kings is a wasted effort which doesn't know what it wants to say.
Directed by David O. Russell
Released in 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo