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UKScreen Rating:

Kingdom of Heaven – Review


Set at the time of the Crusades, in 1186, Balian (Bloom), a young French
blacksmith, is mourning the loss of his wife and child when his
biological father suddenly turns up.
Godfrey of Ibelin (Neeson), a highly regarded baron by the king of
Jerusalem, is committed to maintaining peace in the Holy Land and wants
his illegitimate son to join him on his mission.
On his sudden death, Balian inherits a title and land in the Kingdom of
Heaven, alias Jerusalem.
He then finds himself serving a dieing king (a leper), falling in love
with the king’s married sister, Princess Sibylla (Green), and heroically
protecting the kingdom from invading forces.


This is a visual feast of epic proportions from the great Ridley Scott
(Gladiator). Shot in Spain and Morocco it’s a slow burner culminating in
breathtaking battle scenes, particularly the final siege of Jerusalem.
Scott pulls no punches over the brutality of war at that time. He also
controversially shows how Christians, Jews and Muslims lived peacefully
together in Jerusalem and how tolerant both Christians and Muslims were
during that period.
Orlando Bloom gives a solid performance but I suspect this movie won’t
do for him what Gladiator did for Russell Crowe. Bloom lacks the
gravitas while Eva Green just smolders on the screen. Ghassan Massoud
makes for a formidable, charismatic and yet human Saladin.
This film is too long, a bit dull and heavy going at times. It’s also a
mystery how a humble blacksmith suddenly turns into a master swordsman
and a war strategist. I guess he was his father’s son. Nevertheless a
magnificent looking epic.

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN opens on 6 May



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