Just got back from watching Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll do my best not to give too much away, and I won’t even bother giving a synopsis because, unless you’ve kept your head firmly under the pillow these last few weeks/months, you know pretty much all there is to know about it anyway. My thoughts? Well, it’s a Ridley Scott epic, so of course the cinematography is scrumptuous. There are the (by now) obligatory ‘fight in the snowy woods’ scene, and ‘women standing in random field of wheat’ scene, but those aside I liked it. Jeremy Irons was great, as was Edward Norton in probably one of the most publicized non-credited roles of the decade. Brendan Gleeson was wonderfully insane and over the top, ditto Marton Csokas (Guy de Lusignan). I’ve always been a fan of Alexander Siddig since the DS9 days, so it was good to see him again, but both he and David Thewlis weren’t on the screen enough. Yes it was a little thin on plot in places and you did feel like large chunks were missing, and when the frell did Orlando Bloom become such a good engineer? For a blacksmith he sure knew how to handle a siege!
Orly himself as a leading actor? Hmmmm. He’s improving, but considering his inability to act in either LOTR or Pirates, that wouldn’t be hard. I still want to shake him so he uses more than one voice and an intonation above a whisper at times, but give him a few years and he might make it. Moose even had to admit that at one point, when he was all dishevelled from digging a well (because of course people who had lived in the desert for centuries wouldn’t know about irrigation), and when seen from a bit of a distance, she could see what some of the fuss was about.
All in all, gaping plot holes, slightly two dimensional characters, and the odd spurty-blood scene aside, I liked it infinitely more than either Troy or Alexander, but not quite as much as Gladiator. Not sure about it reinventing the epic, but it was fun.
Three and Half Penguins. (It was a four, but on sober reflection (and re-reading of the rating system) it wasn’t quite up to a 4P.)