If David O. Russell weren't so interested in cramming his opinions down our throats, I bet he'd be a plenty good filmmaker. As it is, though, he's just okay. "Three Kings" is just okay, but you can bet your sweet ass a lot of retards will surely confuse it for great because it deals with a "political" issue.
At the end of "Desert Storm" (it always sounded as if the Army hired the assholes who make Mountain Dew commercials to name their war), there are lots of bored Americans left hanging around in the sand of Kuwait waiting to go home. Some of them find a map to Saddam's hidden bunkers, where there is a buttload of stolen Kuwaiti gold. The always-boring George Clooney (ladies, I don't give a fuck what you think, so don't write) leads Marky Mark and Ice Cube to the bunkers with a plan to steal the gold and keep it to themselves.
Of course, things go haywire. If they didn't the movie would only be twenty minutes long. Clooney, too busy admiring his stubble, underestimates the resistance they'll encounter. When our heroes get to the bunkers, they find an Iraqi people who are being starved and abused by Saddam's soldiers. They are faced with the option of helping the people or taking the gold. Because all Americans in Hollywood movies have a heart of gold, no matter how much of someone else's property they are stealing, the boys try to do both.
Saddam's army stops them, and this is where the movie's hijinks come to a screeching halt. The boys are rescued by Iraqi rebels and then must help the rebels reach freedom and the Iranian border in exchange for their freedom. Many lengthy, preachy speeches and heartfelt deaths follow before we get to the inevitable conclusion: the boys will trade all of their gold to save the Iraqis who they've come to know as human beings.
There are a lot of things to love in "Three Kings." First, it's a gold heist movie, and when's the last time we saw one of those? Hell, they could substitute gold-heist movies for about two of the shitty black guy-white guy cop movies they make every year and there'd still be plenty of opportunities for Chris Tucker to act like a screechy transsexual with attention deficit disorder. Second, half of this movie is a great action movie that blows up shit we haven't seen blown up before. Third, Russell actually takes the time to make the Arabs look and act like real people. I bet he had to fight pretty hard with the producers for the opportunity to do that. Finally, while I didn't give a rat's ass about any of them, I found the characters to be original. They weren't molded by whatever computer program all the other writing pricks are letting do their work for them.
I sat there for the first hour, trying to find things to dislike about "Three Kings" because I am always in favor of bad-mouthing the overrated George Clooney. Sure, I could talk about his "I'm gritting my teeth" acting style, or the way he has mistakenly assumed that his eyes have a piercing quality, and so he is always squinting at the screen. But, the movie's tight. The action doesn't veer into cliché. The violence isn't gratuitous. The characters, while not particularly interesting or involving, don't annoy us with high-pitched squeals or phony affectations. The movie even gets in a few good jabs at the military and war. And the plot has some interesting and unpredictable obstacles.
Then there's the second hour. The second, long, boring hour. The action grinds to a halt and the conclusion is completely obvious to anyone who isn't still giggling about seeing some guy's butt in the first five minutes. This is when Russell puts on his "Let's make an important movie and finally educate those dumbfucks in the theaters" beret and starts beating the shit out of us. I don't know how many fucking characters in the movie have to say "I don't even know why we're here," before we're supposed to understand that Russell is making a "big" statement about the war. Then, in case anyone with a bladder control problem had to pee every three minutes and missed all those speeches, Russell gives all of his characters their "Academy Award Speech" where they elaborate on how maybe the US intentions weren't entirely saintly. Well, no fucking shit. Only in Hollywood, where the intellectual moviemakers read the USA today and the regular ones are still struggling through "Highlights for Children," would this be considered a big and poignant revelation.
Let's face it. We're talking about a war most Americans don't really give a fuck about anymore. It happened eight years ago, and Russell's just beating his chest when he keeps saying George Bush is a bad man. Well, really, who gives a rat's ass? What are we supposed to do: Go to Bush's house and drag him out of his LAZ Boy while he's watching "Wheel of Fortune" and knock the crap out of him? Will Russell's next movie try to get us all angry about Chicago meat-packing conditions in the nineteenth century?
Look, I'm not saying I agree or disagree with him because politics is a bag of horse dung I don't stick my hand in. Now, if Hollywood made a movie about gasoline detergents, then I'd dig in because that's my business. But, as it is, I don't care which side Russell's on, I just hate that a perfectly good movie was ruined because he thought we all needed to know what he thought. At the very least Russell should have the balls to put both sides of the story on screen, along with some tits, and a big desert chase scene where all the hot chicks fall out of the cars and their clothes are torn off by rocks. Then, it becomes night and gets cold, so all the hot chicks have to gather around and warm each other. But, you know, when they start rubbing together they get kind of horny.
I'll give each of the three kings a finger. Boo to you, Russell, though, for thinking we're more interested in being preached to than entertained.
On a side note: Fuck you, Brad Pitt, David Fincher and Edward
Norton for your God-damn pretentious-looking piece of shit "Fight
Club." Get off your fucking high horses, and stop using
great Pixie songs in your previews to try to sell the crap. Also,
to Rob Reiner, the preview for "Story of Us" looks
absolutely dreadful and self-important. You aren't going to win
that Oscar you want so badly with this tripe, so don't bother