Kingdom of Heaven (2005, GBR/USA/SPA/GER) C-145m. SCOPE ** D: Ridley Scott. Starring Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Ghassan Massoud, Eva Green, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson, Edward Norton, Marton Csokas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, David Thewlis. Director Scott retreads the GLADIATOR (2000) paths with this epic-scale historical action drama set in the 12th century about blacksmith Bloom, who is reunited with his father Neeson just after his child has died and his wife has committed suicide. Bloom decides to join his father in the crusades and ends up defending Jerusalem against the Muslims. Stylishly photographed and directed, with some astounding action sequences, but plot should have been more compelling, despite Bloom's convincing performance. Scott also coproduced. Director's Cut runs more than 3 hours.

© Ron Altman