Monday, May 09, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

I saw Kingdom of Heaven this weekend, along with Crash. The better of the movies, by far, was Crash. You should really do yourselves a favor and go see it. Well-written, well-directed, well-acted; just an all-around good movie.

But Kingdom of Heaven was quite interesting. You'd expect a movie about the Crusades to generate rumblings from the Islamic crowd, but in this case, you'd be wrong. The movie's generating ire from the religious right. And why? Well, because it portrays Muslims too well and Christians not well enough, of course.

I often check out sites like NewsMax and WorldNetDaily just to see what they're all pissed off about. This time, I knew that they'd be pissed about Kingdom of Heaven. The movie, as you'd imagine, makes all sorts of parallels with the current world situation. But the author of the article I linked above is pretty upset that the Crusades are not depicted as a defensive effort by Christians. He's upset that Christians don't get handled with kid gloves in the movie, and that some of them are as bloodthirsty as the current crop of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. He's upset that the heroes of the movie wanted to live in peace, rather than to eradicate one another.

So I reserve my final review of this movie until I see how much more pissed off the religious right gets about it. Immediately afterwards, I'd give it a six out of ten. After this article, it's up to six and a half.

Let's see how much higher it can get! Of to Focus on the Family!

UPDATE: Focus on the Family's actually got a link to a pretty tolerant review of Kingdom of Heaven. It's got its gripes with the film, but in general it respects its historical accuracy along with the fact that it vilified neither Christians or Muslims in the extreme. I might have to bring my review back down to a six out of ten after reading that.

And here's a link with a little bit of history about the time period during which the film takes place. Evidently, contrary to what Johan said, Orlando Bloom's character, Balian of Ibelin, was a real guy who led the defense of Jerusalem.