The Hittman Chronicle

Three Kings

"Are we shooting people or what?"

Plot Holes:
Stuff Blowed Up:

Sometimes misleading advertisements can spoil a movie. Three Kings was promoted as an action movie with lots of comedy, but if you've seen the longer version of the trailer, you've seen most of the comedy and quite a bit of the action. The humor is sparse and it takes way too long for things to start happening.

As the war in Kuwait is winding down, the solders are bored. One of them captures an Iraqi solder with a map stuck up his butt. It's determined that the Iraqi Ass Map reveals the location of a stash of gold, and four men sneak out of camp to find it.

A reporter (Nora Dunn) gets wind of the smelly map and is determined to find the story behind it. Dunn, who spent years being obnoxious and unfunny on Saturday Night Live, brings those same talents to this role. She whines and complains through the entire movie, resembling the Pillsbury Dough Boy with a yeast infection, though not as appealing.

The gang finally finds the gold but gets involved in a shoot-out that goes bad. One of their team is captured, and when they go back to rescue him the movie finally starts to get interesting. Unfortunately, it takes way too long to get there. About an hour into the move we turned it off out of sheer boredom. The next day I decided to give it another try before bringing the tape back, and found the action started right after we got too bored to continue.

The director spends too much effort trying to make an arty film, mostly by using strange special effects. Some of them, like the gunfight in slow motion with the sound in real time, work. But most of them, like body wounds viewed from the inside and imagined scenes of people being bombed, are obnoxious and distracting.

The ending is ridiculous - all I can say without giving it away is that the final resolution is completely unbelievable. The next to the last resolution is good, and makes sense, but the very end is ridiculous. The military would never have dealt with the solders that way, no matter how the Dough Boy reported her story.

Stuff Blowed Up: A war movie should have more explosions than this.
Plot Holes: Gold is much heavier than that.
The military would never have resolved their AWOL status this way.

© 2000 Dave Hitt

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