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Streaming fans support a star-studded action thriller that lived to disappoint

Wasted potential and mediocrity was the order of the day.

the kingdom
via Universal

Gathering a proven director and a stacked ensemble, before dropping them right into the middle of a timely, topical, and action-packed blockbuster thriller isn’t always a guaranteed recipe for success, but that doesn’t mean 2007’s The Kingdom didn’t turn out to be disappointingly less than the sum of its parts.

Having previously helmed Dwayne Johnson’s supremely underrated The Rundown and Friday Night Lights, Peter Berg was a filmmaker pinpointed for big things, while a story following a federal agent tasked to assemble an elite team, infiltrate a dangerous Saudi Arabian terror cell, and put an end to their operations was ripe to mine for both set pieces and sociopolitical content.

Throw in grizzled veteran Chris Cooper, unlikely action hero Jason Bateman, and proven ass-kicker Jennifer Garner as the rest of the squad, pepper in some shootouts, explosions, and high-speed vehicular mayhem, and all signs pointed to The Kingdom being nothing but a winner.

the kingdom

Instead, it wound up underwhelming on almost every level. An $82 million box office take on a budget hovering around $70 million was poor, while a 51 percent Rotten Tomatoes score was about as average as it gets. Fans did deem it worthy of a 76 percent user rating, though with the film now finding a fresh wave of supporters 15 years after first sinking.

As per FlixPatrol, The Kingdom has been blowing a hole in the iTunes charts all week, gaining a newfound sense of appreciation that neither critics nor paying customers were willing to give it first time around.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.