More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.19

Awesome: 22.68%
Worth A Look: 15.46%
Average: 24.74%
Pretty Bad31.96%
Total Crap: 5.15%

6 reviews, 61 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Loving Vincent by Jay Seaver

Fortress, The (2017) by Jay Seaver

MFA by Jay Seaver

You Only Live Once by Jay Seaver

November (2017) by Jay Seaver

Friendly Beast by Jay Seaver

Foreigner, The (2017) by Jay Seaver

Tom of Finland by Rob Gonsalves

Happy Death Day by Jay Seaver

78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed


Kingdom of Heaven
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"The edits that killed a movie"
2 stars

Ridley Scott’s new epic “Kingdom of Heaven” suffers not only from a lack of dramatic grit, but also terrible timing. With the numerous releases of similar historical epics the last few years, “Heaven” offers nothing to separate itself from the pack. It’s a dull, bland production with nothing extraordinary about it.

1000 years ago, the Christians controlled the holy land of Jerusalem, and the Muslims wanted it back. Caught in the middle of the war is Balian (Orlando Bloom), a young, bitter blacksmith who learns suddenly that his father (Liam Neeson) is a knight in the Christian army, looking to find an heir to his title. Balian travels to Jerusalem to find faith and honor, but soon is overcome by the corruption in the armies, and the spineless nature of the new king (a dreadful Martin Csokas, “XXX”). Leading his own charge, Balian struggles to find a middle ground with the Muslims, before the conflict ends up costing the lives of everyone he holds dear.

Even before the first frame flickers in front of the projection bulb, there are already several things askew about Ridley Scott’s epic “Kingdom of Heaven.” First is the familiarity of the direction, since Scott took on a similar journey in the 2000 Oscar-winning film, “Gladiator;” while the two pictures aren’t brothers in plot or themes, the movies are unmistakably the work of the same vision. Scott runs “Kingdom” through a familiar obstacle course of vistas (snowflake and sand encrusted), bloodletting, and performances, all of which mirror the ambiance of “Gladiator” to a disconcerting degree. Scott can be a master stylist, but there’s nothing fresh to the look of “Kingdom,” which accentuates the screenplay’s already languid nature and design. This is the first time a “been there, done that” mood has permeated a Ridley Scott film.

The other nagging problem of “Kingdom” is its timing. Audiences have been barraged with ancient battle films for many years now, starting with the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and ending with last year’s “Troy” and “Alexander.” “Kingdom” serves up even more visuals of computer-generated armies rushing to battle, flying arrows that blacken the sky with their numbers, and lunging catapults tossing firebombs in every direction. While the release timing isn’t Scott’s fault, his modus operandi for “Kingdom” isn’t a departure from what’s already been covered by other filmmakers, which lessens the power of the production, and disappoints an eye used to Scott’s occasionally inventive visuals.
The dense script, by William Monahan, doesn’t cloud the mind like Oliver Stone’s long-winded “Alexander,” but it doesn’t have much personality outside of the historical known quantities; this is due much in part to Scott’s hasty editing of the film to bring it down from nearly 200 minutes, to the current theatrical running time of 135.

Even without prior knowledge of cuts made, “Kingdom” radiates missed steps, resulting in unease with the characters and, at times, mild confusion with the story. Balian’s romance with a queen (a wonderfully committed Eva Green, “The Dreamers”) is given a Harlequin romance novel atmosphere: immediately pairing the two up simply through immediate attraction and passing admiration. The same short-shift in attention is given to Balian’s enemies, making an already embarrassing performance by Brendan Gleeson (who shockingly resembles Sweetums from “The Muppet Movie”) all the more toxic and out of place. An already somber, colorless picture, “Kingdom” is hobbled greatly by this deletion of character and narrative foundation. I guess future DVD audiences will be the ones truly rewarded with Scott’s full vision (a “director’s cut” is planned).

In his first major leading role, Orlando Bloom demonstrates the urgent need for a non-period comedy to come his way soon. Bloom is all brood in “Kingdom,” rarely expressing anything above a cold stare, which the actor does very well. Balian doesn’t come across as the tortured soul he’s written as under Bloom’s performance, possibly due to Scott’s cuts. The actor has some great early scenes during a training sequence with his father and his murder of a nasty priest, and Bloom is supported by some reasonable talent (Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, and a masked Edward Norton appear). However, once the weight of the journey settles in, Bloom dries up and is bowled over by the size of Scott’s battle sequences.

Even under different release circumstances, I doubt “Kingdom of Heaven” would’ve connected properly. Yet, for the film to come out now, after many productions have already blazed this trail, makes the feeble triumphs of this forgettable blockbuster disappear without a trace.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12166&reviewer=404
originally posted: 06/04/09 02:03:04
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

1/01/14 Marty The first movie that ever put me to sleep. Story slow and detached. 1 stars
12/08/10 Aaron S Great film. So few about the Crusades. 4 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner The Action was Amazing! 5 stars
5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT A STAGGERINGLY LAZY, LEG-TWITCHINGLY DULL, UNHOLY MESS 2 stars
4/09/08 action movie fan battles too short, story confusing-a failure 2 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White grand crusade film 5 stars
2/12/08 John S Sheer brilliance 5 stars
11/30/07 R.W.Welch Madness & mayhem in the Middle East (what's new?). Spectacular but excessive mumbling. 3 stars
11/07/07 MP Bartley Edit; the directors cut makes ALL the difference. Better than Gladiator. 5 stars
6/18/07 William Goss Director's cut showcases some of Scott's most spectacular filmmaking to date. 5 stars
1/11/07 MP Bartley Often spectacular, but more often patchy epic further let down by weak central performance. 3 stars
12/01/06 SabresFanatic Wonderful film. Bloom's performance is quiet and quite good! 5 stars
9/14/06 Kathryn Excellent film, especially the Director's cut. Most underrated movie of the year 5 stars
7/31/06 Steve Marc the movie rocks 5 stars
5/23/06 t3h r0x0r Very accurate. Very good. Vague like Catholocism. 5 stars
4/28/06 jimmy A new prospective of the Crusaders 5 stars
3/09/06 Dk Even better than Gladiator and thats saying something 5 stars
1/29/06 WiseMan You have to understand the Crusades to like this one. Great Effects sound music. 5 stars
12/30/05 chris f a very good movie 5 stars
12/20/05 Indrid Cold Looks great, but somehow it manages to be a very uninteresting retread of Braveheart, etc. 3 stars
12/14/05 Ginger Vague story line, what was the point? 1 stars
12/11/05 chris matt im afrid your wrong gladiator is better but this film is good to 4 stars
12/09/05 matt better than Gladiator 5 stars
11/29/05 Urban II better than I expected, makes some good points 4 stars
10/23/05 Azar Poor characterisation, religously vague, hoping for a better director's cut 2 stars
10/15/05 Quigley jeremy irons was awsome, bloom was not; the battles were to envious of LOTR. gladiator? yes 2 stars
10/09/05 Daran Historically fallous, and a complete load of tosh, give up Ridley!!! 1 stars
10/07/05 anamika pretty bad 2 stars
9/20/05 Jonathon Holmes WAY better than "Troy" & "Alexander" 5 stars
9/19/05 Glennyce Paetzmann Well...I liked it better than gladiator... 4 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Why did Scott bother? This movie is pure retro, 1930's eyewash. 1 stars
9/08/05 Ric Lacks heart and spirit; hopefully, the director's cut will be a vast improvement. 2 stars
8/14/05 Kasia OSCAR FOR NORTON !!! 4 stars
6/18/05 aldo two different cultures fight...a hero we like...Same old story...but worth seeing 4 stars
6/13/05 Sacred Zealot The best - King Baldwin 5 stars
6/11/05 herkos akhaion Battle scenes very good, story so-so 4 stars
6/09/05 John beautifully shot and a good cast - entertaining 4 stars
6/01/05 Mansur I think this Film shows almost correct history of jerusalem. 4 stars
6/01/05 carly excellent 5 stars
5/27/05 The Mockingbird just for surprising me by not sucking as much as it could have bloom less sucky than usual 3 stars
5/24/05 Sebahattin ziyanak objective 5 stars
5/21/05 Kellie It's fun to watch and seems to make a point. Some of it's self-absorbed but worthwhile. 4 stars
5/18/05 Pippin007 Better than Troy,Alexander and King Arthur. Its Ok! Lord of the Rings is better 3 stars
5/18/05 jeff one of the best midevil movies yet!!! 5 stars
5/18/05 vagile Ridley Scott's best film. 5 stars
5/17/05 Neon Not worth my time 2 stars
5/15/05 Maalstrom fairly entertaining movie except for fairly ambiguous climax 3 stars
5/15/05 jcjs i liked it 5 stars
5/12/05 --- ridiculous PC history 2 stars
5/12/05 Kristin The Crusades here are so PC that the main characters are sapped of all motivation 2 stars
5/12/05 Ralph Not at all bad, just overshadowed by Lord of the Rings 4 stars
5/11/05 Tom Mangel Pretty Bad. I thought Alexander was the worst film I saw over the last six months however, 2 stars
5/11/05 John Shannon Not awful, but not awesome. A good open to the summer. 4 stars
5/11/05 mwildema would be a good rental, because you can turn it off.. 1 stars
5/10/05 Morrigan Not a classic, but not bad by any stretch of the imagination. 4 stars
5/10/05 KingNeutron Apparently, Saladin was an honorable - and incredibly generous - man. 4 stars
5/10/05 Naka Crap. Simpleminded, pretentious, overwrought crap. 2 stars
5/10/05 Gini I really enjoyed it. Expect something slower and more measured 4 stars
5/08/05 Dan Great movie, great message... don't know how you all found it boring. 5 stars
5/08/05 saturn plenty of bad lines and acting and boring as hell 2 stars
5/06/05 jack bad script - and fell asleep in the last 1/2 hr 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  06-May-2005 (R)
  DVD: 23-May-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-May-2005


Directed by
  Ridley Scott

Written by
  William Monahan

Cast
  Orlando Bloom
  Eva Green
  Jeremy Irons
  Brendan Gleeson
  Liam Neeson
  Edward Norton



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast