Kingdom of Heaven ---- Starring Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson

Nov 9, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:some of the action

Cons:the story, weak characters, disconnected plot structure

The Bottom Line: Kingdom of Heaven was a seriously lacking film that needed way more than Ridley Scott wanted to give.

After the success of Gladiator, Ridley Scott seemed to have a good handle on time period films taking place back before technology took over the way wars are fought. Given a second chance to put his knowledge on display, Scott Directed and Produced Kingdom of Heaven about several battles taking place 100 years into the Crusades. This particular tail follows the life of a Blacksmith (played by Orland Bloom), who is tasked with defending a Jerusalem that doesn’t even want him there. Caught in a land that he has never known, and constantly being faced with stupidity in the form of the leaders of the region, he must make this a Kingdom of Conscious rather than of riches. The synopsis of the plot for Kingdom of Heaven may seem a little confusing, and it may even seem a little vague, but this is what we have as a movie here.

To say that Kingdom of Heaven is not an Orlando Bloom and Ridley Scott “vehicle” is to say that you really don’t get the intent of this film. When I first saw the previews for the film, I had high hopes for it, and it seemed like something that would really interest me. Well, after seeing the film, and then reviewing the preview again to see if I was right, I discovered that it was intended for us to think of this movie as something more than it actually was. What they did, was try to confuse us into seeing a movie that was going to bank entirely on the recent stardom of Orlando Bloom, and bet on the fact that we WOULD go see another period piece by Ridley Scott. Well the film didn’t last long enough in theaters to get my money that way, but it did get me to try it out on DVD. And I will admit that this movie actually took me two sittings to get through. The reason for that, was that the first hour of the movie was entirely too disjointed.

In Kingdom of Heaven we are intended to take the side of the underdog (in this case Orlando Bloom), who has committed murder, and is on the run. Presented with the option of joining a Father on his journey to Jerusalem (whom he had not me before), he decides that this is a way to start off a new life in a far away land. Of course scenes are thrown in there to make it acceptable for why he committed his crime, and still more for us to want him to succeed in everything that he does. One thing I was having trouble with at this point though, is seeing him groveling during his other film Troy over and over again. Putting the sword in is hand again, was just asking for trouble, and I think that he took too long to break into the role he was given in the film. Maybe if he had started out with the skills he was being trained in before, it would have left his character a little bit more believable.

I can’t blame everything that didn’t work here on Orland Bloom, because the film had so many aspects that just didn’t keep the film flowing, or keep it interesting for its nearly 2 hour duration. The ending sequences were good in their own right, but the wait for them was really not worth sitting through the terrible plot development, the weak supporting character attributes, and the bad dialogue that turned into just a series of one-liners for Bloom to seem “cool”. Kingdom of Heaven is not a film I recommend, and I don’t think that people should be willing to spend the money on owning this one. It gets a gracious 2 stars for me, and an urge to avoid it.


The is an entry in the Fourth Lean and Mean Write-Off Hosted by Sleeper54.

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