Reviews

Kingdom Of Heaven: Director's Cut

4

Rather than re-re-review the re-re-release, here's the Lounge lowdown on what's different and why it makes things better. By reinstating 40 minutes of extra footage to his Crusader epic, director Ridley Scott manages to...

MAKE ORLANDO BLOOM A BETTER ACTOR

In retrospect perhaps unfairly criticised for his performance in the original cut, here Bloom's character, Balian, is given a proper backstory, meaning we now fully understand his desire to seek the eponymous kingdom. We learn that Michael Sheen's priest is actually his brother, that Balian was in jail following his wife's suicide when the story begins, and that he was an engineer as well as a blacksmith, which explains his military mind come the siege of Jerusalem.

GIVE LIAM NEESON MORE SCREEN-TIME

Godfrey, Baron of Ibelin's need for atonement is more realised in the Director's Cut. Also, Ed Norton's masked leper character, King Baldwin IV, is expanded. In the theatrical version, Norton was little more than a cameo. Here, he has a fully formed role. We even see him lead his army into battle against Saladin (Ghassan Massoud).

MAKE SENSE OF EVA GREEN'S TRANSFORMATION

From Goth Princess to depressed psycho...

In the theatrical cut, Princess Sibylla sleeps with Balian and then, more or less, loses her mind. Now we understand why. Not only does Sibylla have a young son, but when she realises he's inflicted with leprosy just like her brother Baldwin, she decides to take his life shortly after he's been crowned king. Fair enough...

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User Reviews

    • UnusualPictures

      Feb 3rd 2009, 21:48

      5

      I love the Director's Cut of KOH! I watched the theatrical cut on Channel 4 and enjoyed it, but when I heard that there was a Director's Cut available, with additional scenes, I really wanted to see it. And so, I popped down to my nearest HMV. The added bits helped the film to become a much better picture, and in the case of Eva Green's characters mood swings make much more sense. The subplot of Sibylla's son Baldwin was touching and helped her character to become more rounded. And the added scenes concerning the wonderful character of Edward Norton's Baldwin IV were brilliant, making me admire the actor more than I already had. The ideas of religious tolerance and fighting for peace are as well-presented (if not more so) in this as they were in the first version. A thoroughly enjoyable film with a resounding message. I don't much care for Orlando, but he's nice to look at...other than that, great job again Mr. Scott.

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    • bagatur

      Nov 3rd 2010, 14:18

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