Many have read C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and now even more people have seen it. There has been a BBC production in the 80s but they did not have the CGI power of WETA at their disposal to make this tale come alive. Aslan (spoken by Liam Neeson) is simply amazing and so are any and all fairy creatures in this movie.
The costumes are stunningly beautiful, too and everything is just … shiny; too shiny in fact. So shiny that the scenes emit sterility and suffocate any real emotion. Emotion wise the movie also suffers slightly under the crux of child actors such as Lucy who only have one expression on their face even when crying. It is understandable that Georgie Henley was swept away by all this and the work on set must have been overwhelming for her and it shows throughout the movie, esp. when she leans her head on the dead Aslan and cries.
Friends warned me not to watch this but I went ahead all the same and the “Kingdom of Heaven” hit me with all its sword swinging gore and naked man boob intermissions. Cut. Sorry, what was that? Come again? First, Orlando Bloom is miscast. Yes. Please wake up and smell the humus. Bloom is not a bad actor. OK, most people think he is, apart from the girls who like the afore mentioned man boobs. Anyhow, he is not the man who leads soldiers into their deaths (fake beard or not); they would just laugh and point at him. At least in “Troy” he got to play the pansy wearing a silly short skirt but Ridley Scott had to make a manly blacksmith out of this “Milchbrötchen” who inspires whole legions to give their lives for a mere idea of what Jerusalem is supposed to be? What is it worth? Nothing – and everything. There you have the best quote from the movie spoken by the only actor actually worth mentioning in this horrible “no story and all show” debacle.
Edward Norton as “King Baldwin” is good, as far as the script permits but it doesn’t help making him wear a mask all the time, crippling his performance. Liam Neeson has a short appearance in the beginning of the movie and makes the most of it. Good man. And Jeremy Irons has seen better days than this. “Who was he”, you ask? Well, “Tiberias” of course. What am I getting at? This is not a movie about characters or their development, it is solely about effects, about swords cutting heads off and arrows sticking out of skulls and we have better movies for that, thank you.
Ridley Scott announced that he wanted to put the story (his story, not what actually happened, don’t be so foolish as to think this has anything to do with accurately depicting actual historic events, it does not) back into “Kingdom of Heaven” and release a Director’s Cut so I suggest – if you really cannot withstand the urge to buy the DVD – to wait until he does, for the theatrical release does suck immensely.