When most movies combine jaw dropping action and a political message, they end up with a movie-mush that is neither politically correct nor action packed. Few succeed at a political action film.

Take, for example, another horrible venture into the genre, 2000’s “Rules of Engagement.” It is hard to both engage an audience and provide them with a deeper understanding of an international conflict. “The Kingdom,” however, succeeds on both points providing not only thrills but also food for thought.

“The Kingdom” is a story of an elite team of FBI agents that goes to Saudi Arabia to investigate a massive attack on a U.S. oil workers’ compound. Opposition from both sides complicate what seems to be a clear-cut mission. Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia prefer to remain separate, except when it comes to commercial oil exchange.

“Kingdom” examines the American side of the issue as well as the Saudi Arabian side with the character of Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom) who is equally as upset as Agent Fluery (Foxx) over the attacks.

Fluery, will stop at nothing to bring justice to the innocent Americans killed in the attack. Proving that he is not just an action meathead as shown in last years “Smokin’ Aces,” director Peter Berg brings out incredible performances from the cast.

Foxx, proving he deserves his Oscar, gives an incredibly strong performance. Jason Bateman, as agent Adam Leavitt, from “Arrested Development” gives the film much needed humor. Even Jennifer Garner, agent Janet Mayes, proves to be bearable, although it is probably due to the fact that Garner is given few lines and is occupied by a candy sucker most of the film.

“The Kingdom” emphasizes the importance of the capitalistic relationship between the two countries, with Saudi Arabia being the No. 1 producer of oil and the U.S. being the No. 1 consumer, and proving that the one thing that tops morals is money.

Although “The Kingdom” is right to point out America’s need for Saudi Arabia, it should also be noted that the U.S. imports more oil from Canada and Mexico than Saudi Arabia.

Although set in Saudi Arabia, “The Kingdom” gets right to the core of terrorist conflicts by making clear how terrorism has escalated to new levels in Iraq. Berg includes children on both sides to demonstrate the horrific toll they will pay for our hatred.

In the end, the battle between Middle East and West comes down to a need for revenge. As Foxx says in the end, “We will kill them all.”

It is with this lack of political subtlety that “The Kingdom” delivers the most powerful lesson: If everyone “kills them all,” who will be left?

Click here to watch the trailer!

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