Kingdom of Heaven Reviews
I suggest to anyone who is criticing this movie badly to read and learn history for this event really did happened and it was massive. Also search for Crusades at least on the internet before watching this. The director obviosly made the movie for someone with education, not morons. So learn about some characters beacuse it is expected of you to know it.
And, for some reason, along the way seeminglly discovers how to lead men, irrigation techniques, skill with sword, foreign languages and how to withstand sieges.
There's no denying that it *looks* the part and is based around real historical facts; just seems to take a meandering route to get anywhere, which means the sting is taken out of it by the time it gets to the point!
Ridley Scott Delivers a truly epic historical drama about a blacksmith Balian (Orlando Bloom) turned crusader, and how even a man from simple beginnings can change the world. The brutality of the times is duly delivered throughout the film, and well acted throughout with a fairly dynamic cast of supporting actors. Most notably Liam Neeson as the Knight Godfrey, Edward Norton as the masked King Baldwin, and David Thewlis, the unnamed monk who supports Balian throughout his battles. What he really achieves, and to my surprise is a lack of bias towards both the Christian and Muslim sides of this battle. Both sides retained their own ideologies, but never once does Scott make one side seem to be without principle or merit. Despite what people may feel currently, when I look back on this film, I think it fairly portrays the honour and cruelty of religious ideology on both sides.
One of the best achievements of this movie is the lack, or at least reduced use of CGI throughout the film. Every Battle looks realistic, and avoids the pitfalls of subsequent movies like 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'Troy' (of which Bloom also stars). Ever face on the battle field is a different one, and it looks exactly like it should. 1500 dressed in armor, and each with their own weapon, fighting it out for their respective King and Religion. The towers that were used in the siege of Jerusalem were really built using technology from that period of time, and it certainly adds a sense of realism to the movie.
Of course it's not without a few minor flaws. I'm usually thrown off by the use of the British accent during historical dramas. I understand the necessity of it, as it connect the viewer to the period, but considering the majority of the Knights during the crusades were of mixed decent (French and Germanic mostly), it can seem a bit out of place (especially when using names like Raynald de Chatillion and such). It's a bit like using an American accent to read Shakespeare. It throws the whole thing off. Additionally, there are several differences between the theatrical version, and the director's cut (being 194 minutes) is noted by the Director as being the 'definitive cut,' so it's recommended to avoid the shorter 2 hour version as it misses an entire act.
Undoubtedly one of the most detailed and well portrayed epic films of it's time, Kingdom of Heaven is a beautiful rendition of a brutal time.
Kingdom Of Heaven could have been one of the greatest epics in cinema. However, it is missing a certain element of depth that is present in Gladiator. Orlando Bloom is fine, but lacks the strong lead capability that Russell Crowe brought to Gladiator. Ed Norton's character of the leper king is the stuff of legend, and largely establishes the overall film's "epic" feel.
Recommended viewing for history buffs as an account of the 12th century Crusades.