I saw The Kingdom tonight. It's a brutal look at America's fragile relationship with Saudi Arabia, through a story of a terrorist attack on an American compound in Riyadh. Though fictional, the story was inspired by real events that occurred in 2003, when suicide attacks attributed to Al-Qaeda killed 35 Americans and injured more than 160.
It's a scary movie, in the sense of putting you in the heart of the tension.
I found myself getting scared that on the way home from the theater, some car bomb would go off by the roadside. It was that graphic. The bombing and gunfight sequences were amazing and terrifying.
I was a bit surprised by the politically incorrect perspective of the movie. I expected more of an anti-war, anti-American message. Americans were portrayed as genuine heroes. Unfortunately, they were way too invincible. Like comic book figures, they somehow escaped getting killed by all the bullets and rockets that came flying at them. Jennifer Garner was especially indestructible. There were also too many cute comments by the actors.
The Muslim extremists in the film were exactly that...extreme. The movie takes you into the heart and mind of the terrorists, shows you how they make car bombs and suicide vests, and gets uncomfortably close to a scene of torture.
You also get a sense of the dutiful blindness of terrorist religion. It was sad to watch as commitment to Allah drove many of the Muslims in the movie to senseless, horrific acts of murder. It was particularly uncomfortable to see children getting killed and being used as soldiers of Jihad.
As hard to watch as this movie was for me at times, what's more depressing is to realize that while I sit comfortably writing this post, that stuff is really happening over there in the Middle East. The only hope for this world is the TRUE kingdom. It's a kingdom of peace, not violence; of love, not hate...with Christ, the Prince of Peace, on the throne.
More than ever I want to pray, "Thy kingdom come!"