On May 6th of this year, I was in the theater at 4:00 in the afternoon, gorging myself on popcorn and soda and eagerly waiting for the previews to end. I had looked forward for months to the opening of Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons. Not only was the cast spectacular (minus, perhaps, Orlando Bloom), the director had, five years ago, given us Gladiator, one of my all-time favorite movies. To top it all, this film promised to meet me on a more personal level than Gladiator could have: whereas Russell Crowe’s General Maximus was an adherent to old-style Roman paganism, the heroes of Kingdom of Heaven share my religion, Christianity.
Unfortunately, Kingdom of Heaven did not come close to meeting my expectations.