Kingdom of Heaven Review

Written by: Hamzah Moin

I knew Kingdom of Heaven would be a good movie right when I saw that the majority of negative reviews came from hardcore Christians. Bad reviews tend to mean that Muslims were portrayed properly.

I remember when I first heard that Ridley Scott (director of Gladiator) was doing a movie based off the Crusades. I pretty much assumed that they’d make us look bad and Muslims (yet again) would have another reason to be pissed at Hollywood. But no, luckily Scott was a big fan of Saladin and liked how Saladin was a very forgiving and noble leader and correctly presented that in the movie.

Anyway the movie is about some French dude named Orlando Bloom. Wait, before I go on … what the hell is up with Orlando Bloom? Why does EVERY single character he plays in any movie involves either a) bow & arrows, b) being a blacksmith c) being some whiny loser or d) all of the above? I mean come on.

Like I was watching this movie and I swear I thought he looked like Paris from Troy…

… then later he was on a scary looking boat and I figured I walked into Pirates of the Caribbean by accident …

…No but wait one of the battle scenes looked like a huge copy-paste job from Lord of the Rings…

… until my brother finally told me that this was indeed Kingdom of Heaven … a different movie altogether.

The REAL bad guys in the movie are the extremists on both sides who are eager to go to war for some reason. Like a ton of the folks on the Christian side were all Muslim-hating and wanted a war while on the other side of the fence there was this dude with a well-trimmed beard who was getting all up in Saladin’s face for not having conquered Jerusalem by now. So the moral of the story, if you haven’t figured it out, is that extremism sucks and everyone should get along.

What’s even cooler is that this is one of first movies where they don’t put in white people to play Arabs that are good. That is truly ground-breaking. Usually if you’re Arab and you want a job in Hollywood you would always have to be a mean villain with scary eye-brows and well-trimmed beards.

However there is still quite a few screw-ups.

1) They never really called us Muslims back then but I’ll let that go. Pretty much every actor in the movie had pretty good Arabic could say “Muslim” properly except Bloom. He kept saying “Mooooze-lim” and it kinda made me wince whenever he said it.

2) I know I criticize people for being too touchy-feely during prayer and not stand so close, but in this movie they were like 10 feet apart and praying in congregation. I’m not entirely sure why but come on … shoulder to shoulder.

3) The athaan (Call to Prayer) was playing DURING the prayer. Athaan is pretty much useless if people have already begun prayer. Dumb.

4) When looking at the body of dead Muslim soldiers, Saladin begins to recite Surah Fatiha. He says half the surah but then finishes abruptly. The editing team screwed that up. They’ll get nazr.

I think that’s most of the nit-picking. The movie preached peace and it’s a nice change of pace. So if you saw any Orlando Bloom movie before then just combine them altogether, add a bunch of Muslims and you’ll get Kingdom of Heaven.

Movie rating:
“Evil Muslim” rating: