Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. United Kingdom/Spain/USA/Germany, 2005. , Scott Free Productions, BK, KOH, Reino del Cielo, Studio Babelsberg, Inside Track 3, Calle Cruzada, Dune Films. Screenplay by William Monahan. Cinematography by John Mathieson. Produced by Ridley Scott. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams. Production Design by Arthur Max. Costume Design by Janty Yates. Film Editing by Dody Dorn.
Another Gladiator ripoff, this one bearing the distinction of having been made by the actual director of Gladiator. Orlando Bloom plays a perfectly tousled 12th century French blacksmith who is approached by a Baron (Liam Neeson) and told that he is the nobleman’s illegitimate son. Bloom follows his new father to the kingdom of Jerusalem, which has been under European rule for a century and is threatened by the Muslim armies who want it back. Bloom sets up shop in his father’s house, falling in love with Princess Sibylla (Eva Green) and befriending the leprosy-afflicted King Baldwin (voiced by Edward Norton). Baldwin believes in his heart that Christian and Muslim need not be enemies but can find common ground, a belief which Bloom shares, but this is all shot to hell when Sibylla becomes Queen and makes her Templar Knight husband Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas) her King, his desire for blood turning the Kingdom of Heaven into the battlefield that remains today. Scott should be commended for not making a flag-waving piece of crap that picks political sides, instead showing the wisdom behind peace and reconciliation, but he should be berated for making such a boring movie. His knack for rich visuals fails him, as does the casting of a rather dull Bloom in the lead role. Jeremy Irons adds terrific spirit in a supporting role.