Newest Review: ... He brings with him some interesting characters, some who don't go all the way through the film. From desserts to storms, epic battles to t... more
Ridley Scott should go pray for his sins
Kingdom of Heaven (DVD)
Member Name: JEStevens
Kingdom of Heaven (DVD)
Date: 22/05/06, updated on 23/05/06 (65 review reads)
Advantages: Good action scenes
Disadvantages: dis believable story-line, poor acting by main character
The film is set in the age of the Christian Crusades, a controversial time of both extreme bravery but also of extreme barbarity. The movie is directed by Ridley Scott, whose other works include the epics Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and Kingdom Of Heaven certainly follows these titles footsteps in the impressive battle scenes.
Actors Include: Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green and Brendan Gleeson amongst others.
Film Time 138 minutes
The main vein of the storyline is a Hollywood approach to the pre-third crusade Jerusalem. The main character, Blacksmith Balian (Orlando Bloom) who has just lost his child and wife (dieing of suicide – against the period rules!) is found by his father, a real knight of the holy land the Baron of Ibelin who has returned to bring his son into the fold. Balian refuses, subsequently kills a really annoying priest and then trots after his father in a search for forgiveness in the holyland.
- Here we have the typical hollywoodisation of what could have been a really historically accurate film, while the film puts Balian as a blacksmith who rises through the ranks of society (a feat totally unrealistic in the day) the real Balian was a minor noble/knight of some standing
Once in the holyland we are treated to a quick guide to Jerusalem politics, on the one hand there are the Knights Templars who we see being portrayed as a bunch of bloodthirsty militaristic bible bashers – we see these being hung as punishment for killing Arabs – and the medieval periods version of the Lib Dems who want everyone to get along. Having succeeded his father to his title, Balian now faces a series of trials and tribulations, after a brief interlude, the death of the king and the murder of Saladin’s sister war breaks out and the new king leads the army off on a who can get killed quickest walk.
Enter Balian who arrives to defend Jerusalem and after a epic four day defence manages to get terms that enables the people who have survived to survive the victors.
While the film has a hint of historical accuracy certain factors, such as Balian’s social standing, manages to take the edge off of it. Much like Gladiator and Black Hawk Down the film will leave the viewer torn between two emotions – wow look at all the effects (because believe me this director can do action scenes) and the feeling yeah ok I’m not convinced this is 80% genuine and for me that takes the shine from an otherwise excellent film. One other problem is the acting of Orlando Bloom, although I admit he is a good actor he just doesn’t seem to be the right person for this film – he’s a bit too much of a pretty boy and lacks that rough edge. The portrayal of the knights Templar does dumb down the film for me, but I suppose in today’s PC society we Christians-based western countries must have some ways for explaining the brutality of a so called peaceful religion – mind you just look at George Bush for an example.
What else can I say about the film, supporting actors, especially Liam Neeson, do a cracking job – and I do believe I spotted the dude from Harry Potter in amongst the cast??
I would recommend this film to anyone as a part of their DVD collection, however there are better films out at the moment and so this film would be a bit of a buy if it’s on offer type thing. Whereas Gladiator had believability this film joins it only with the quality and scale of its action scenes.
this film can be bought for around £10 on amazon.
Summary: Excellent Action Scenes, No Gladiator