Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Not My Heaven

Following his wife's suicide Balian of Ibelin (Orlando Bloom) kills his half brother after learning that he had the corpse beheaded before burial. Angered and full of guilt Balian ends up going on a journey to Jerusalem with his real father Baron Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson) who he has only just met. But on the way there having taught Balian the skill of fighting Godfrey is mortally wounded but bestows his title on his son. In Jerusalem Balian becomes close to the leper King Baldwin IV (Edward Norton) and Tiberias (Jeremy Irons), the Marshal of Jerusalem; whilst also carrying on with the king's sister Princess Sibylla (Eva Green) who is married to Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas). When the King dies Balian becomes rules of Jerusalem where he tries to keep peace.

"Kingdom of Heaven" is one of those movies which leaves me conflicted as to how I feel about it. So here are the positives as Ridley Scott has given us another epic which is visually impressive. The look, the scale, the ambition it is all there including the movies length which at 144 is not ridiculously long but maybe a little long when I get to what I didn't enjoy. But before that we have a good cast with many recognizable stars appearing in major as well as minor roles which whilst in some cases the acting is wooden all contributes to that old fashioned sense of being an epic. And we have the action to go with it, modern brutal action which will entertain those who watch because they want something akin to "Gladiator".

But then there is the other side to "Kingdom of Heaven" a storyline which bored me to death, a storyline which removes the religion out of the crusades, a storyline which does little favour to actors who whilst I will not name are wooden. And the knock on effect of this is frequently "Kingdom of Heaven" failed to keep my attention, mind numbing when you have actors delivering dull dialogue which fails to have any power to involve you. And that is from someone who has no idea about factual accuracy yet I get a real sense that a lot of factual accuracy went flying out of the window during the making of this.

What this all boils down to is that "Kingdom of Heaven" didn't do it for me as whilst it had the look, the action and in some cases the cast the storyline, the dialogue and the knock on effect of an uneven pacing spoiled it for me.