three Kings

When I received this one through the post from Lovefilm, I have to admit that I knew nothing at all about this film.  Not even which war it was set in.  Thus armed, I had the most enjoyable episode of confusion in this film tour so far.

After what begins with the feeling of an armed picnic, the American soldiers come into contact with the harsh reality of warfare.

Set during the Gulf War (the first one- the less morally unacceptable one), Three Kings takes place after the war was supposedly over and Kuwait liberated.  After a brief introduction it looked like I was just settling down to see a comedy, maybe laughing at the screwball japes of bored GI’s for a couple of hours.  Then it all went a bit Kelly’s Heroes, with a rogue expedition setting off into enemy territory to help itself to some gold that was stolen from it’s previous owners- in this case the Kuwaiti government by the Iraqis.  And then a dose of real life injected into the mix- reprisal attacks by the Iraqi army against civilians who rose up against Saddam Hussein.  An unexpected moral conundrum for those who hitherto were on a treasure hunt, and are now looked to for support.

Three Kings is shot in a variety of styles which seems to be as conflicting as the morals that the characters struggle with.  Action-packed shootouts lie on the same film reel as crazy acid-trip visual sequences.  The film does not beat about the bush, going straight for the historical jugular at several points, even if there an overly cosy ending.  Put it all together and it seems to work though.



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