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Kingdom-of-heaven-02Two Orlando Bloom movies this week, and two movies directed by the Scott brothers Tony and Ridley. Set during the Crusades in the Dark Ages Kingdom of Heaven sees Bloom playing a blacksmith turned soldier who travels to Jerusalem and becomes the defender of the city. It’s an ambitious story that suffers from the sheer scale of the storytelling. The film gets bogged down with dialogue, but really shines during the epic battle sequences.

Also interesting is the movie’s political stance. The story revolves around the battle between Christians and Muslims for the city of Jerusalem but deftly avoids taking sides. Scott simply seems to be saying that fanaticism of any kind can lead to ruination.

Compared to Ridley Scott’s other ancient epic, Gladiator, this movie feels overlong, and Orlando Bloom doesn’t have the charisma that Russell Crowe displayed as Maximus.

I’m giving Kingdom of Heaven 3 stars for the fine collection of extras on the second disc and the incredible battle scenes.

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