Kingdom of Heaven

What is this movie?

Is it supposed to be a biopic of sorts focusing on a broken man who finds redemption defending Jerusalem? Is it supposed to be a sweeping look at the Crusades? Is it a “Gladiator” clone directed by the guy who directed “Gladiator”?

Whatever it is, the film doesn’t work. Some parts are too thin (character development) and some parts are too thick (battle fatigue) and some parts make zero sense (why did Orlando Bloom’s character set off for the Crusades with the to-that-point absentee father he’d only just met?).

And when did Bloom’s “hero” evolve from humble blacksmith to cunning warrior? A couple of training sessions turned him into a general? Are we meant to believe that because he descended from nobility he was inherently noble?

Also, remember in the early 2000s when Orlando Bloom was a thing?

I love you Ridley, but stop it with the slow-mo: I watched “Kingdom of Heaven” because it was directed by Ridley Scott. I find his attention to detail and craftsmanship compelling (watch “The Martian” carefully and you’ll see a master at work). But in “Kingdom of Heaven” Scott leans hard on low-grade slow motion and I don’t understand why. It’s like watching a novice filmmaker discover filters in iMovie. Thankfully, Scott dropped the habit in subsequent projects.