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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

‘Kingdom’ just another action flick

The Middle East has become a common backdrop for the latest string of politically-charged thrillers. Films such as 2005’s “Syriana” offer a look into this very current and prominent aspect of world news.

Most of these movies don’t really need to be set in the Middle East. They could easily take place anywhere in the world, but the use of these countries adds immediacy. Unfortunately, “The Kingdom” feels like that kind of film: an average action movie that could have happened anywhere, but just so happens to take place in Saudi Arabia.

Directed by Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”), “The Kingdom” follows a team of FBI agents traveling to Saudi Arabia. Led by Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx), their job is to investigate a suicide bombing at an American housing compound. Because of safety concerns, they are forced to travel in secrecy and are constantly kept under guard by Saudi Police. The team struggles to overcome differences in government and culture as they try to investigate the crime scene and catch the mastermind behind the bombing. Unfortunately, things go terribly wrong and one of their own is kidnapped. Fleury must embark on a rescue mission, putting his life and those of the team in jeopardy.

What is immediately noticeable about “The Kingdom” is the wide range of topics Berg tries to cram into the film’s 110 minutes. It’s not just about a suicide bombing: it’s about American-Saudi relations, the oil industry, differences in government and culture and the reasons behind this war between the West and the Middle East. There’s a lot going on, probably enough for two films, and it shows. Everything is rushed, from the story’s setup to the character development and the action. “The Kingdom” needed a sharper focus, and Berg needed to let some scenes develop.

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But what is there isn’t all that bad. The characters are likeable, with just enough depth to connect to them. The action is great with some decent cinematography that puts you right in the middle of gunfights and explosions. And the dialogue has a surprising amount of humor in it, which can help in some of the slower scenes.

But for every aspect that is done well, there’s something that could have used a little more work. The investigation of the crime scene was interesting, but glossed over. “The Kingdom” could have taken a more “CSI” approach, which would have been different and unique, but sadly this opportunity is wasted. The inclusion of Agent Janet Mayes (Jennifer Garner) to the team feels forced and clich

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