Kingdom of Heaven is an epic adventure about a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war. A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls in love with an exotic and forbidden queen, and rises to knighthood. Ultimately, he must protect the people of Jerusalem from overwhelming forces – while striving to keep a fragile peace.
Kingdom of Heaven is a decent enough movie. It is even a quite good movie. It is also a quite depressing movie. At least it was for me.
The backstory of the movie is the eternal battle over the city of Jerusalem. That city is of course a tempting subject for makers of adventure movies given that it has been destroyed at least twice, been attacked 52 times, besieged 23 times and changed ownership 44 times.
Balian de Ibelin comes to Jerusalem (not really of his own will mind you) during a time when it was in Christian hands only to discover that most of the Christian noblemen are arrogant, warmongering assholes. Not only that but they are stupid beyond belief. The results are disastrous of course. The movie blurb is actually not very accurate. When Balian is at the point were he has to defend the people there is no peace, fragile or otherwise.
The movie is quite well done, no question about that. The scenery, the acting, all of it is on the level of a very good movie. It is not really an action movie though. More of a adventure/drama movie. Balian’s journey towards the final confrontation is a rather slow process and it is only towards then end, during the siege of Jerusalem, that the movie truly heats up on the action front. The siege of Jerusalem with its siege machines is quite impressive though. Not overdone with ridiculous CGI but well done.
It is also a depressing movie. The Christian noblemen, their disastrous behaviors and the equally disastrous end result makes me have a hard time to really like this movie. It is a good movie but I did not enjoy it as much as it deserves.