Cinema: Unconventional Warfare

Director David O. Russell set out on a mission to update the standard-issue war movie. He triumphs with the smart, funny and genially bizarre Three Kings

The soldiers burst through the underground bunker's door, safeties off, trigger fingers tense. If the purloined gold--some $23 million worth--is anywhere, it's likely to be here--heavily, nervously guarded.

They are somewhat nonplussed by what greets them. Someone is watching the Rodney King drama unfold on cable TV, while someone else listens to an Eddie Murphy hit and another works out on a NordicTrack. One of the defenders makes a placatory gesture, offering the intruders a Cuisinart. Down the hall, a captive is being tortured by electric shock, his tormentor chatting amiably with him in American slang between jolts.

The invaders...

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