Friday, April 03, 2009

Three Kings

To say David O. Russell is a quirky director would be pretty much like saying salt cod makes you thirsty. He gained acclaim from SPANKING THE MONKEY and smashed his homerun with I HEART HUCKABEES and THREE KINGS is just a strange as both of those films I mention. Think OCEAN'S ELEVEN meets Desert Storm meets APOCALYSE NOW and you would kind of be on the right track. After a few viewings I'm still not sure I like this film as a always have a problem with any role which requires Mark Wahlberg to do something dramatic. I think he's great in action parts but his range at times doesn't quite meet the requirements to carry heavier scenes which Russell has him do here. A similar complaint can be had with George Clooney who is...well....Danny Ocean in military garb but hey, he's still great. The problem is THREE KINGS is trying to jam so many thoughts and themes in the two hours it runs it could have benefited from a more dynamic cast. Ice Cube does an excellent job with his character but the real treat for me was director Spike Jonze as Conrad Vig. He single handedly sums up AND steals the film. I can't pan THREE KINGS because it is cleverly written, well presented and amazingly shot with some super funny bits my fave being the exploding cow scene and one has to wonder why nobody commented on how bad they must have stunk after being covered in said exploding cow in the middle of the desert and then having a tanker milk bath......certainly worth exploring. It should also be noted that Chicago song IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW I write about in my blurb on THE REPTILE makes a great appearance and gets blown up real good!


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