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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kingdom of Heaven - REDUX!

So I thought I'd give Ridley Scott's crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven another shot...

Daddy never loved me.

I'm a big fan of old-school epics. I'll happily while away half a day watching Ben Hur for the umpteenth time, or even merrily sit through fun tosh like Gladiator. I guess it comes from my teenage love of epic fantasy, where a book wasn't worth reading unless it cracked the 1000 page mark. And though I did learn my lesson there, I still have a soft spot for matinée epics.

Push, Judah! Puuuuush!

It's a given then that Kingdom of Heaven looked to be right up my street. I was dubious about Orlando Bloom, but everything else seemed in place on the talent front. Ridley Scott, Professional Mentor/Doomed to Die Guy Liam Neeson, wiry whiner David Thewlis, and even New Zealand's own Martin Csokas as a slimy Templar bastard.

I was wrong.

The movie was a real disappointment for me. It never really clicked. Never hit the epic feel it should have had. And frustratingly, whenever it was finding its feet some naff line or ridiculous story point would derail the whole show. And let it be said I'm quite tolerant of a bit of arch dialogue and the odd convenient plot device when it comes to these things, but this was just too much.

And Orlando Bloom sucked. Wooden, unconvincing, and all the presence of a mime in the dark.

Yes. I am terrifying.

So when I heard that Ridley Scott (who was apparently extremely unhappy with the final cut) was going to do a director's cut which would flesh out the characters and add scope to the story, and when I began to hear positive rumblings about how transformed the movie was by said cut, I was heartened. After all, a movie is made in the edit room, isn't it? That's what all those film books I read tell me.

Well, I guess there are limits.

Kingdom of Heaven: The Director's Cut is still rubbish. Very pretty (but it always was), and yes there are clearer motivations for the characters, but all the same ticks and leeches of disappointment are still sucking at the warm body of my epic film enjoyment.

And Orlando is still the same charisma void he always was.

I'm not. But I may as well be.

Sad to say it, but avoid. Again.


  1. Check out my verbose buddy's thoughts on it on his blog

    some similar conclusions to you but he likes it I think. It's a long post.

  2. I also really like this sorta film and absolutely hated Kingdom Of Heaven, it was so bland.

    And this is coming from a girl who doesn't really think Orlando is that bad an actor.

  3. If you don't think Orlando is a bad actor, you should watch 'Elizabethtown'. You will discover the truth. So wooden you can hear him creak.