Kingdom of Heaven 2005 ★★★½

I have sort-of seen this before, but when you are watching the Director's Cut you may as say you're seeing it for the first time. I popped this in as a result of wanting more of some recently viewed pleasures: Game of Thrones, Eva Green (Dark Shadows), and Ridley Scott (Prometheus).

Clocking in over 3 hours this is far too distant and unengaging to truly love, and I'd place a good chunk of this in casting Orlando Bloom as the lead. Orlando is competent, and has some good moments here, but has never come across as a strong leader but at best a good hand for someone else. The score is very epic but also contributes to pushing these characters further away.

Which isn't to say some of the players don't pull you in when they are on screen. Gleeson can't help but be charismatic, Norton shines despite being behind a mask, Neeson and Thewlis come across as the most human, and Eva Green... well I just always like Eva Green.

While at it's extended length you can say the story is truly fleshed out and expansive, at the end of the day the best reason to watch this film is still to watch the gorgeous visuals. The production values are still very jaw droppingly impressive, and the final hour in particular once we get to our big battle sequence makes everyone seem more exciting based on the magnitude of what they have to live through. This leads to some nice moments between Bloom and Massoud's Saladin.

So if you're hungry for more Scott after Prometheus, and have already gone back through Alien and Blade Runner, I'd recommend revisiting this, expecting a gorgeous film with visuals on par with Scott's signature films.

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