Last (K)Night's Movie: Kingdom Of Heaven
Was not that great a flick last night. I watched this film years ago, and I have an interest in the Middle East, so when I saw it available streaming I jumped on. Great cast, and Hanukah is this week, so the decision was not difficult.
The film opens up and gets moving pretty fast: Orlando Bloom is introduced as a bastard son of a Holy Land lord, and he quickly burns his life down in France (literally) to join his newly discovered father on a return voyage to Jerusalem. Liam Neeson is the father, and he plays a pretty convincing hard-ass knight.
The film's visual spectacles begin here, with a visit to Messina, a perilous sea journey, and arrival on a mysterious shore. We learn about the competing interests in the region, and war ensues. There's some love interest, a Leper King (I just kept thinking of the Metallica song 'Leper Messiah' every time I saw him, especially with that mask), and lots of fighting.
The exploration of personal interests, religious zealotry, and the norms of the era was compelling but the cast doesn't seem to hold the center mass of the plot. The film moves a little too fast, and is VERY loose with camera work and continuity. I don't think Orlando Bloom really holds up his end of the role in comparison to everyone else, either. He gets constantly outshined, despite his role's prominence.
Also, where were the Jews during all this movie? You've got mention of Templars, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Saracens, Kingdom of England, etc., but not one mention of the Hebrews? This seems a little odd to me, as they were certainly in Jerusalem in this era, not to mention Europe.