Sunday, May 08, 2005

film - Kingdom of Heaven


I felt Kingdom of Heaven was short on character development for an overly long film. Orlando Bloom plays our protagonist, but he absolutely does not have the prescence to play a convincing leader.

There are too many far-fetched moments. He becomes a credible swordsman after the briefest of lessons from daddy. With virtually no training, he's a leader of men and a brilliant military strategist at the same time. There are other hard to believe moments, but I won't spill the beans.

Remember how convincing Clive Owen was in the recent King Arthur film? Orlando Bloom is a flyweight wimp in comparison who can't carry a film. He was all right, though, in the scenes where his character was portrayed as being pensive and principled. His dialogue was too cheesy, unfortunately.

Years ago, the action would have been impressive. Today, however, with so many sword and sandal epics being made, the fighting scenes seem ordinary. Thankfully, though, the computer animation is not intrusive.

The supporing cast were really good, including Jeremy Irons as the king's right hand man Tiberius, Liam Neeson as Godfrey, Ghassan Massoud as Saladin, and bad guys Guy de Lusignan and Reynald played by Martin Csokas and Brendan Gleeson.

The real question is, how much of this film was accurate and how much was inoffensive Disneyfied-fiction? Despite the mountain of gore, the inoffensive script has gutted the film of any true pulse.

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