Kingdom of Heaven Not the Epic It Could Have Been
- Thursday, May 05, 2005
Moreover, while religion and the current war in Iraq (though indirectly) are lambasted fairly soundly ("First, I thought we were fighting for God, then I realized we were fighting for wealth and land"), the film does espouse a certain righteousness, in the form of the knight's oath. A young man receiving his oath of knighthood hears the words, "Be without fear in the face of your enemy; be upright; speak the truth, even if it leads to your death; safeguard the helpless - this is your solemn oath." This, of course, is the Gospel - only the film makes us believe that it can stand alone without the Gospel. The only problem is, how is a man to be "upright" when no one and nothing - save his wounded, sinful conscience - tells him what that means? Without a frame of reference, without an authority that is higher and far more righteous than himself, what can man rely on as truth?
Because of Kingdom of Heaven's many weaknesses, it fails at being the epic that it could have been. Still, with its phenomenal sets, scenery and costumes, courtesy of the Oscar-nominated Arthur Max (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down), not to mention a worthy attempt at storytelling, however biased, it is a visual extravaganza that deserves viewing - along with much discussion afterwards.
- Drugs/Alcohol Content: Various scenes where characters drink wine.
- Language/Profanity: None.
- Sexual Content/Nudity: Married woman approaches single man in his tent at night and makes suggestive comments; very brief love scene with nudity but nothing apparent.
- Violence: Extreme wartime violence throughout film, particularly stabbings, throat-slitting and beheadings.
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