‘Taken’ director’s new movie smashes box office records


If you need a director capable of delivering a solid-if-unspectacular action movie that manages to find a decent audience irrespective of what the critics think, then you could do much worse that Pierre Morel.

One of the many Luc Besson proteges to emerge from the EuropaCorp production line, Morel’s career has seen him involved in a number of continental action thrillers as either a director or cinematographer. That list includes French smash hit District 13, Jason Statham’s The Transporter, Liam Neeson’s Taken, John Travolta’s From Paris with Love, Sean Penn’s The Gunman and Jennifer Garner’s Peppermint, but his latest feature marks a change of pace.


Al Kameen, which is also known as The Ambush for overseas marketing purposes, has just scored the highest-grossing opening weekend for any Emirati or Arabic-language film to release in the United Arab Emirates, and it also scored the biggest debut of 2021 for a non-Hollywood effort.

Filmed in the UAE with a local cast, Al Kameen is based on a real-life incident that took place during a conflict with Yemen, and tells the story of how a small group of soldiers trapped in the mountains were saved by a daring rescue mission. Sure, it’s not going to make much of a splash in the United States or elsewhere, but it’s an impressive accolade nonetheless.